23 to watch in 2023: Hanne Thomsen, Montgomery High School distance runner

Just last month, Hanne Thomsen won her third state title as she repeated as the Division 3 cross-country state champion.|

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

Name: Hanne Thomsen

Title or position: Distance runner at Montgomery High School

On the job since: 2021

Age: 15

Hometown: Santa Rosa

Why Thomsen is someone to watch:

In just a year and a half of high school competition, Hanne Thomsen has already established herself as one of the best girls distance runners Sonoma County has ever seen. And with two years left at Montgomery High School, Thomsen could well achieve that title when it’s all said and done. Just last month, Thomsen won her third state title as she repeated as the Division 3 cross-country state champion. She also won the 3,200-meter CIF state title in track and field as a freshman last spring. Not only is she winning, but doing so with record-setting times. Just this year, she ran the second-fastest time in history at Spring Lake, ran the second-fastest three-mile time in Redwood Empire history and set the Division 3 meet record at the North Coast Section championships. And that’s just in cross-country. She also set the Redwood Empire all-time record in the 3,200 in track and field as a freshman last spring. With her sophomore track and field season still ahead, Thomsen is already being talked about with legends like Sara Bei Hall, Julia Stamps, Kim Conley and Amber Trotter.

What others are saying about Thomsen:

“Hanne is clearly a once-in-a-generation/lifetime talent and that can be very tricky to navigate when you’re very young … but she seems to be really strongly positioned to keep her trajectory on the upswing. She’s still got room to grow, she hasn’t hit her ceiling yet and a lot of young phenoms do hit their ceiling when they’re 14, 15, especially when they’re girls. … But she has room to improve, which is really exciting,” said Carrie Joseph, Santa Rosa High School cross-country and track and field head coach. “For someone in such a demanding sport, if she can stay happy and healthy, there is that room to grow. She’s got all the tools to be the best runner that’s ever come out of Sonoma County, at least from the high school perspective, which is saying a lot since we have Julia Stamps, Sara Bei, Kim Conley. As long as she stays happy and healthy, I think she’ll definitely surpass those legends.”

What Thomsen says about making the list:

“It’s an honor, I feel like, so thank you. It’s just really nice to be recognized for something that I love to do. I hope I just keep on moving forward with my progression and staying strong. I think (for 2023) I just want to focus on my progression and getting stronger, not necessarily like records and times - because I know those will comes as I get faster and stronger. And then hopefully our team gets stronger, too, next cross-country season, go to state next year and the following year.”

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.