Ultimate road tripDustin Jensen spent last weekend chasing four Jamestown College teams all over the country — literally. It was a bit of a grind and certainly a whirlwind, but Jensen, the Jamestown native and Executive Director of the Jimmie Booster Club, loved every minute of it.
Dustin Jensen spent last weekend chasing four Jamestown College teams all over the country — literally.
It was a bit of a grind and certainly a whirlwind, but Jensen, the Jamestown native and Executive Director of the Jimmie Booster Club, loved every minute of it.
Beginning March 2, Jensen hop scotched from Jamestown to Phoenix to Tucson, Ariz., back up to Jamestown, then to Sioux City, Iowa, down to Branson, Mo., back to Sioux City and then arrived back in Jamestown for good on March 9.
Did you get all of that?
There certainly was a blur-element to the week, but it was well worth it, he said.
“I’m blessed to deal with current student-athletes, past student-athletes and past students to whom Jamestown College means a great deal,” said Jensen. “It truly is fun to see how many people care about this little piece of property up on a hill in Jamestown. This place is very special to a lot of people and to be a part of that makes my job very fun.”
Like everybody on campus, summing up Jensen’s duties with a title, or even two, doesn’t get it done. He does a lot of things for the school, but obviously fundraising and friend-raising are a big part of it.
On March 3 in Phoenix, he organized a large social for alumni and current students that was well attended by the robust JC contingent now living in the Phoenix area. It also was an opportunity to mix past student-athletes with current members of the JC baseball and softball teams that were playing their spring trips in Tucson.
“At that first baseball game I bet we had 75 or more people there to support the Jimmies,” Jensen said. “It could have been a Saturday in May at Jack Brown Stadium. It was awesome to see that kind of support.”
Jensen took in a handful of baseball and softball games on March 4 and 5, before jumping back on a plane and flying to Fargo on Tuesday, March 6. After landing at Hector International Airport, he hopped right into a car and was on the road for Sioux City, Iowa, to watch the Jimmie women’s national tournament opener on March 7. He arrived in Sioux City after midnight, but was up early for the Jimmies’ 8:30 a.m. victory over Union, Ky.
Just an hour or so later he was back in the car and on the road, venturing another 500 miles to Branson, Mo., to watch the Jimmie men’s national tournament opener — a heartbreaking 64-63 loss to St. Francis, Ind. — on Thursday, March 8.
“It was hard to see it end the way it did for those guys,” said Jensen. “That is a classy group of young men that made Jamestown College proud.”
What happened after the devastating loss only affirmed Jensen’s admiration for coach Matt Murken’s team.
Instead of staying in Branson and decompressing from the defeat, the JC men’s team decided to hop in the van and head for Sioux City to watch the women in their Sweet 16 game against Northwestern, Iowa.
“It was that Jimmie pride just showing through. I remember Byron (Jones) saying, ‘Once a Jimmie, always a Jimmie.’ Anybody who knows Byron would not be surprised by that just knowing the type of person he is,” said Jensen, a former JC athlete himself in track and golf. “But to see what those guys went through in that loss and then to think of their fellow Jimmie women’s team, that was awesome. I don’t know how many other teams would have done that, but that’s the type of student-athletes we have at Jamestown College.”
So Jensen was back on the road to Sioux City, logging another 500-mile drive and was there in time for the Jimmies’ game against Northwestern on Friday, March 9. The Jimmies lost to the eventual national champion Red Raiders, but did so in front of another strong showing from JC fans — including the men’s basketball team.
Jensen then set sail for Jamestown and when he arrived back home on March 9 the total mile count, not including the Arizona portion of the trip, was 1,990 miles, but well worth it, he said.
“To spend a week traveling all over and watching our teams, you can’t really call it work, it was fun,” said Jensen, who also flashed his photography skills during the adventure, several of which were published in The Sun. “It felt like a grind at times, but it was such a great experience and a big part of that is dealing with these kids.
“I dealt with a lot of professional athletes when I worked in Colorado and there was an aspect of entitlement with some of them. There’s none of that with these athletes. They’re humble, they work hard and they just want to succeed — and they’re a great tribute to Jamestown College.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org