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Paynesville Press - October 5, 2005

Tina (Lang) Fenske, Class of 1994

By Michael Jacobson

tinaTina (Lang) Fenske, Class of 1994, earned All Conference honors and letters in cross country, basketball, and track during her high school career at PAHS. Then she proceeded to have an All American career at the University of South Dakota.

In cross country, Fenske earned All Conference honors four times and made three trips to state, earning All State honors by placing fifth as a ninth grader, tenth as a sophomore, and fourth as a senior. In 1991, when Fenske was a sophomore, the Dogs made their first trip to state as a team in girls' cross country, and the second state trip by a girls' team in school history, placing 12th.

In basketball, she earned All Conference honors as a senior and helped the Dogs reached the subsection final, where they lost to NL-S 45-36.

In track, Lang earned All Conference honors seven times and was the conference champ three times. She earned All Conference honors in the 300-meter hurdles (an event in which she set the school record, since broken), the 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run, and the 3,200-meter run. She also competed in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump.

She advanced to state as a ninth grader, sophomore, and senior in track, placing seventh in the 1,600-meter run as a ninth grader in 1991, fifth in the 3,200-meter run and sixth in the 1,600-meter run as a sophomore in 1992, and fifth in the 1,600-meter run as a senior in 1994.

She held the school records in the long-distance runs in track until Jen Hess broke them. Fenske still does hold the indoor and outdoor record in the 800-meter run.

After attending Willmar Community College for two years, Lang transferred to the University of South Dakota, where she competed in cross country and track. After nearly a three-year layoff from competitive running, she qualified for all six national meets (cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track) in her two years at USD and earned All American honors six times.

She placed 10th in Division II in cross country in 1998 to earn All American honors and helped the Coyotes to their first national meet as a team.

She earned five All American honors in track - one in 1997 in the 5,000-meter run, placing seventh outdoors, and four in 1998, placing fifth in the 5,000 and sixth in the mile indoors and fourth in the 3,000-meter and sixth in the 5,000 outdoors. She held several school records at USD upon graduation. Since graduating from USD, Fenske has worked as a registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. She and her husband Joel have three children and a fourth due in March 2006. They live in Farmington.

What is your fondest memory from high school?
When I made it to the state meet my freshman year in cross country. I didn't know what I was doing except that I was running another meet.

How did high school athletics prepare you for life?
High school athletics prepared me for life because they taught me hard work, discipline, and commitment. It also taught me to be a team player, which applies to so many aspects of life.

Why do you consider yourself lucky to have graduated from PHS?
I was lucky to have graduated from PAHS because the small-town atmosphere where so many people are like family. I thank all my family, friends, and the community for supporting me.

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