RECAP CA Star Hanne Thomsen Crushes Field at Portland XC

Montgomery (NC) sophomore Hanne Thomsen glides over the course on her way to an emphatic victory at Portland XC on Saturday in Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Melody Karpinski)

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It became increasingly clear during her freshman high school season in cross country and on the track that Montgomery High (NC) distance runner Hanne Thomsen was a star in the Golden State.

On Saturday outside Portland, Oregon, the now-sophomore from Santa Rosa who, as a frosh, won a CIF-State divisional title in cross country and a CIF-State track title, absolutely dominated the field in the elite race at the Portland XC.

In the multi-state event held at Blue Lake Park in suburban Fairview, Thomsen blazed the 5000-meter course in 16:49.20 to win by nearly 50 seconds and break 17 for the first time. 

Montgomery was one of about 15 cross country programs from CA represented at the meet in northern Oregon. 

For Thomsen, it is her fourth win in as many races so far this season, with the Clovis Invitational looming on Oct. 8 as a pre-State Meet test of California's finest. 

Clovis undoubtedly will provide Thomsen with the competition she has yet to find so far in 2022. Hopes of getting that in Portland faded when defending champion and nationally-ranked Kate Peters of Lake Oswego was not able to compete. 

"She is dying to race somebody," Montgomery coach Melody Karpinski said Sunday of Thomsen. 

Knowing that it was almost certainly going to be another solo effort for her star, Karpinski said they set time goals in the 16:40-16:45 range, conducted workouts based on those goals, all with the objective of getting Thomsen that desired sub-17 for 5K.

"That was a big deal for her," Karpinski said. 

"We knew she could break 16:50. Obviously, it's a little tough by yourself."

Thomsen was the class of the field pretty much from the gun in the Jim Danner Girls Championship, running 5:24 for the first mile, and 5:30 for the second. She led by 3.2 seconds at the first mile split. She took full command of the race in the second mile, opening up a 25.9-second gap at the split. She closed the final 1K in 3:15.1.

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Thomsen, who out-sprinted defending champion Riley Chamberlain to win the CIF-State Division III title last November, and was the class of the 3200-meter field at the State Track and Field Championships in May, is undefeated so far as a sophomore.

She opened the '22 XC season running 16:11 on the new 3-mile layout at the Rancho Cotate Invitational. Thomsen then won the 2.78-mile Lowell Invitational (15:14.00), before breezing in her home invite, winning the 2-mile Viking Opener in 10:41.40.

And now Portland. 

"We were both really happy with the race," Karpinski said. "It's a good set-up for Clovis. ... Our goal for Clovis would be to match this time or improve on it." 

Anna Callahan, a junior at Sammamish (WA) Skyline, was second in 17:38.60 in the Danner Girls Championship. Ashlyn Leath, a senior at Clovis North (CS) was fifth in 18:03.20.

Four other CA girls placed among the top 20: 

10Lyla Fedio11Redondo Union (SS)18:09.908
11Jie Yi Denise Chen11Claremont (SS)18:11.209
12Avery Peck9Long Beach Poly (SS)18:11.4010
20Seelah Kittelstrom10Montgomery (NC)18:30.000

In the team scoring, Rancho Cucamonga (SS) followed up its impressive showing at Woodbridge with a runner-up finish in Portland with an 18:45 average and a 17-second 1-5 split. RC had a 22-second 1-5 split at Woodbridge in placing as the No. 4 team from CA. 

Clovis North (CS) placed seventh and Redondo Union (SS) was 10th. 

Sophomore Nicole Alfred again led Rancho Cucamonga, running 18:38.60 and placing 27th overall and 21st among scoring runners. Here's RC's other four scorers: 

Long Beach Poly senior Cameron Rhone placed third in the Boys Jim Danner Championship race, the highest finish among CA boys. Rhone ran the 5K course in 14:59.10, crossing the line just 3.9 seconds behind winner Alexander Garcia-Silver, a senior at Coos Bay (OR) Marshfield, who crossed in 14:55.20.  

Rhone led six CA boys into the top 20.

Millikan (SS) junior Jason Parra, followed up his strong showing at Woodbridge, with a sixth-place finish in 15:06.30. The others: 

Redondo Union (SS) was the top-placing CA team in the boys elite division, finishing fourth with a 16:08 average and 46-second 1-5 split. Here's a closer look: 

4Redondo Union (SS)1468+23+36+38+41 (69+94)0:46 1-5 Split | 16:08 Avg
5Madera South (CS)21312+22+29+55+95 (115+146)1:12 1-5 Split | 16:19 Avg
6Trabuco Hills (SS)21710+25+42+67+73 (74+100)1:02 1-5 Split | 16:19 Avg
9Millikan (SS)2723+52+59+66+92 (93+127)1:50 1-5 Split | 16:21 Avg

Scorers for Redondo Union behind Aaron Thomas

Photos courtesy of Melody Karpinski