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Ashland woman to compete in Senior Games tourney

Nancy Nerenberg may be past her prime, but she'll try to prove over the next four days that her act is still far from tired.

The 54-year-old Ashland resident will find out just how much gas is left in the tank this weekend as she competes in the women's basketball portion of the 50-and-over Summer National Senior Games

Held at Stanford University and other venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Senior Games is host to more than 12,700 athletes in 25 different sports.

Nerenberg's team, AllNet.com, which according to Nerenberg has neither a Web site nor any apparent affiliation with the internet, qualified for the tourney by winning the six-team 2008 California Qualifying Games last summer. It was Nerenberg's first stint with the San Diego-based AllNet.com, which earned a silver medal in 2007 and bronze two years earlier.

A Los Gatos, Calif. product, Nerenberg was a member of the women's basketball team at UC Berkley, from which she graduated in 1979. After finishing school, she went on to play professionally in France and Germany.

"I was never a starter in college, but a good sixth man, and the professional teams just didn't know any better than to take me," she joked.

She's stuck mostly with the Ashland open-gym circuit recently, but heard from a friend about the Senior Games a couple years ago when she decided to up the ante.

"Someone from Ashland talked about playing softball there a couple years ago, and I got a little bug in my head after that and thought they must have basketball, too," says Nerenberg, who had to find a team from California to join because Oregon did not have a qualifier. AllNet.com will compete in a 23-team bracket for a chance at gold, which will be split into five groups for round-robin play starting this morning. The tournament will stretch through Tuesday, while the entire Senior Games wraps up on August 15.

"It's not a big deal in terms of audience, but it's a huge event, there's a lot of energy and some very inspiring people here," Nerenberg added. "You're going to get the best athletes at these ages that are still very competitive, so we're going to have a good time."