Wayne Jensen moved to Leadville in the fall of 1965 after winning the State Cross Country Championship for the State of South Dakota.
While at Lake County High School, he was the 1966 Colorado State Champion in Cross Country. Despite a strep infection and a fever of 102°, he placed second in the State mile his senior year (1967) with a time of 4:27. The following week he won the Meet of Champions with a time of 4:31. At the time of graduation from LCHS, he held the cross country (2 mile), mile and 880 records. He entered the University of Wyoming on a full athletic scholarship in the fall of 1967.
While at the University of Wyoming, Jensen was a four-time letter winner in both cross country and track:
1968 – Wayne placed 2nd in the Mile (4:32.6) and 4th in the 3-mile (15:57.6) at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships. He set new UW records in the indoor 880 yards (1:56.3), 1,000 yards (2:15.4), mile (4:14.1) and outdoor mile (4:16.2).
1969 – Wayne placed 2nd in the mile (4:01.8) at the WAC Championships and was on the UW record mile relay team (4:16.2).
1970 – Wayne was the WAC Champion in the outddor mile (4:02.27) and set a new Utah Stadium record. He also set a new UW outdoor record in the 880 (1:49.3).
In May of 1970 he ran in the nationally televised Kennedy Memorial Invitational Track and Field Games in Berkeley, California. In a field of 10 world-class international runners -including four sub 4-minute milers- he was introduced as Wayne Jensen from Leadville, Colorado.
He was featured in Sports Illustrated in June of 1970 in the “Faces in the Crowd” section for having the mile record in three states, breaking Jim Ryun’s Utah mark with a 4:02.2 in Salt Lake City. He set the Colorado record of 4:06.5 and ran 4:16.2 in Wyoming at 7,220 feet in elevation.
1971 – Wayne was the WAC Champion in the indoor mile (4:03.6), which set a new WAC indoor record. He also set a new UW record in the three mile (15:15.7) and was on the record setting indoor mile realy team (3:17.6).
When Wayne left the University of Wyoming he had qualified to run in five NCAA meets and held five individual track records: Indoor 1000 (2:13.4), Indoor Mile (4:03.6), Outdoor 880 (1:49.3), Outdoor Mile (4:01.8) and Outdoor 3-mile (15:15.7).
Almost 50 years later (2019) his time of 4:03.6 in the indoor mile is still the third fastest time in UW history. He also holds the fastest 1,500 meter outdoor time of 3:42.94 (converted) and is fifth on the 800 meter list with a converted time of 1:48.84.
The strong work ethic and character he displayed in his youth was a preview of his adult life. He went on to become a very successful businessman and president of his own company.