Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen repeats as state cross-country champion in Division 3
Hanne Thomsen did it again.
The Montgomery sophomore sensation added a third state title to her rapidly growing collection, repeating as the Division 3 cross-country champion at Saturday’s CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Thomsen, who also owns the 2022 state title in the 3,200-meter race in track and field, breezed her way to a nearly 30-second win over the 5,000-meter course. After a tight first mile, she pulled away for a winning time of 17 minutes, 12.8 seconds.
“it’s just kind of a relief because all this week I was battling a cold,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t going to go for a PR today; I just wanted to come out with a win, and I’m super excited.”
Thomsen’s time was third-best among the nearly 1,000 runners across all five divisions at Saturday’s state meet. She’s the first back-to-back state champ in school history since Sara Bei Hall won four straight from 1997 to 2000.
“I think I went out a little bit fast in the first mile,” she said. “I did kind of feel it all throughout the race, but I know my fitness is there underneath this illness, so I knew I could keep pushing.”
While Thomsen’s repeat was the headliner, Sonoma County had two other individuals and a team record top-10 finishes.
The Montgomery girls finished seventh in the Division 3 race — their best finish since they finished third in 2002 — while Montgomery senior Jude DeVries ran the best race of his career to finish fourth in the Division 3 boys race.
Sonoma Academy senior Tiernan Colby ran to a sixth-place finish in the Division 5 boys race.
Here’s more on how locals fared at Saturday’s championships.
Montgomery’s seventh-place finish was fueled by three top-45 performances. Behind Thomsen were fellow sophomores Seelah Kittelstrom and Amrie Lacefield, who finished 16th overall in 18:35.5 and 42nd overall in 19:15.4, respectively, in the 212-runner field in Division 3.
Maria Carrillo took 15th in the Division 3 field and was led by senior Rebekah Taylor, who finished 72nd in 19:50, and junior Gracie Trenam, who took 74th in 19:52.2.
Individually, Petaluma junior Riley Kreutz was the fifth-fastest local in Division 3, finishing 89th in 20:05.8.
In the Division 5 race, Sonoma Academy junior Athena Ryan and Cardinal Newman senior Siena Brunetti each recorded top-40 finishes in the field of 198 competitors. Ryan finished 20th in 19:17.5, while Brunetti crossed in 19:49.5, good for 38th overall.
Ryan was in the top 10 through the one-mile mark, but said her fast start caught up to her as she faded over the final 2.1 miles.
“After NCS, I’ve been focused on trying to be aggressive through the whole race because that’s what got me in fifth last week,” she said. “I could have been higher up at NCS, I just wasn’t aggressive enough, so I was so focused on that that I went out way too hard and just kind of fell off.
“But it’s something I can recognize, make up for it.”
While Brunetti was disappointed with her time, her 38th-place finish is the best for Cardinal Newman since 1997, when Sarah Hallas finished eighth overall.
Jude DeVries was the local story of the afternoon as he ran an inspired race to a fourth-place finish in Division 3, running a personal record of 15:19.5.
“Today was not about me, it’s about Him, it’s about my team and my coaches,” DeVries said. “They’ve been pushing me every single day, God has been with me every single day. I can literally talk about God’s power and his plans for me every single day because there’s no way I should have ran that time today.”
On an injured hamstring, DeVries ran out with the lead pack and slowly moved his way up. He went from sixth after the first mile to fourth by the 2.1-mile mark and held his spot till the end.
“This is No. 1,” DeVries said about where he ranks Saturday’s race in his career. “I’ve never pushed myself like that and just wanted it so bad. It’s a PR and I did not expect that.”
Maria Carrillo, which finished 16th in the team competition, was led by Benjamin Choe, who finished in 89th with a time of 16:53.1.
In Division 5, NCS champion Tiernan Colby of Sonoma Academy ran with the leaders for the first mile or so but dropped back over the latter part of the course and finished sixth overall in 15:36.
“I was disappointed with how I executed the second mile,” the Sonoma Academy senior said. “I felt good at the mile mark, but then I fell back a little bit after two miles — and that’s where I wanted to move up and push the pace, but I was pretty slow.”
The result was a marked improvement from last year, when he finished 34th overall, and brings to an end a stellar senior campaign that also saw him run one of the fastest three miles in Redwood Empire history and set the all-time Coastal Mountain Conference record at Spring Lake.
“A lot of good performances,” Colby said. “I guess I had just hoped I could close it out a bit better, but there were a lot of good things to take away going into track.”
Rounding out the top Sonoma County boys performances Saturday was Santa Rosa senior Andrew Stevens. In his first trip to state, he finished 34th in Division 2 with a time of 15:52.
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