Triple threat

After excelling in sports from running to swimming, Hannah Longmire ’26 has a new goal: the Paralympic triathlon.


Gianna Liu

Hannah Longmire ’26 poses by the pool after swim practice.

Not many 14-year-olds are training for the Olympics — even without a disability. Four years ago, freshman Hannah Longmire didn’t think she would be either. Longmire was born with a congenital limb difference, which affected the formation of her limbs. That resulted in the amputation of her legs from below the knee when she was just two years old. However, since receiving a pair of glittery pink running blades at the age of 10, she has become an athlete.“[My old] prosthetics weren’t the most comfortable,” Longmire said. “I didn’t really like doing things because my legs kind of hurt.”

Until she was 10, Longmire’s prosthetics irritated her bone, making it difficult for her to do most sports. Right before a surgery that was scheduled to alleviate the pain, Longmire was offered a different option: go to Nashville and get fit with new, more comfortable prosthetics instead.

“[The doctors] gave me new walking and running prosthetics. Instead of making me put a sock on and carbon fiber prosthetics, they put a piece of foam between so my bone doesn’t hurt, and it’s way more comfortable,” Longmire said.

After getting her new prosthetics, Longmire went to NubAbility, a camp for kids with disabilities. There she was able to try numerous sports: running, swimming, biking, soccer, basketball and dance. Out of everything she tried, running was her favorite.

“Let’s just say, I was not in shape at all,” Longmire said. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is a lot of work; I don’t know if I want to do this anymore.’ But I stuck with it.”

Longmire’s parents were supportive and motivated her to keep up her hard work.

“They were just like, ‘Come on Hannah; if you want to be the athletic, awesome kid that you were born to be, then you’ve got to keep going,’” Longmire said.

“People think I’m gonna be slow and then I go out there and smoke their kid.”

— Hannah Longmire '26

Longmire joined the cross country and track teams at Northwest Junior High, where she competed against everyone, not just those with disabilities. She was one of the fastest runners on her team, running sub-seven-minute miles. In the past, she had only ever raced against runners with disabilities, so her confidence surged after competing against — and beating — those without.

“I actually won a race because I did it, not because of my disability, so it made me feel a lot better,” Longmire said.

After feeling invalidated by people expecting her to do worse simply because of her disability, Longmire aims to prove otherwise.

“People think I’m gonna be slow and then I go out there and smoke their kid,” Longmire said.

Aside from running, Longmire is chasing a new endeavor: triathlons. These races consist of running, swimming and biking. Because she was already an experienced runner, Longmire decided to join the swim team instead of cross country this fall.

“I already have the running part down … I’ve been doing it for five years now,” Longmire said. “I need more work on my swimming form [and] get my endurance up because the older I get, the farther I have to go in a triathlon.”

Emelia Greuter ’26, one of Longmire’s close friends and teammates, says Longmire’s bubbly and outgoing personality makes her a great member of the swim team.

“She’ll get to know anyone and everyone,” Greuter said. “If she sees that West cap in the water, she’ll cheer you on. It doesn’t matter who you are.”

Their friendship and support extends further than just the pool, according to Greuter.

“We push each other in whatever it is, whether it’s working hard at practice or with our schoolwork. I think we just strive to make each other better in all aspects,” Greuter said.

Longmire’s dedication was illustrated this summer, when she started training for triathlons. She joined two training groups: one for any kid interested, and another specifically for training with disabilities called the Junior Development Paralympic Triathlon team. Longmire trained with both groups throughout the week and competed in triathlons each weekend. After her first triathlon, Longmire found passion for the new sport.

“I was so scared before [my first triathlon], but I really loved it,” Longmire said.
In October, Longmire will go to a triathlon camp at a paralympic training site in Chula Vista, California. There, she will get more specialized training for athletes with disabilities. After finding out about the camp, Longmire’s mom immediately submitted her race times and background, recognizing what a great opportunity it was.

“[My parents] know me sometimes better than I know myself,” Longmire said.
When the next Paralympics come around, Longmire will be 17 years old. By then, she aims to be on the triathlon team. Longmire has already raced against Paralympic athletes, and has had scouts verifying her times.

“I was racing against a couple Paralympic runners and I was absolutely terrified,” Longmire said.

Despite nerves, Longmire finds her motivation to continue training by thinking about those who have made it possible for her. She is grateful for those who developed and gave her the prosthetics which allowed her to run.

“They gave me that chance, and I’m taking that chance,” Longmire said.

Longmire also views her parents and siblings as inspiration to continue to excel.

“My definition of an inspiration is someone who works hard,” Longmire said. “[My biggest inspiration] is probably my family.”

Longmire’s family support follows her throughout all of her activities. From running, swimming, triathlons and even modeling, her family has been there with her.

Longmire’s modeling journey began in 2020, when she signed with an agency called Sprout Kids in Florida. Since then, she has modeled for companies like Go-Go Squeeze, Claire’s and Justice. Longmire’s brother, Thad, accompanied her all the way to Florida to model for Disney, where she modeled for the launch of the Star Wars park.

“No judgment. Just be yourself and don’t let anyone else tell you who you should be.”

— Hannah Longmire '26

Despite her success, from athletics to modeling, Longmire is still pursuing her own finish line. Following her goal of attending San Diego State University on an athletic scholarship, she aims to become a coach, especially for athletes with disabilities. She has already taken on coaching young athletes along with her peers. Her junior high track coaches identified her as a leader on the team, giving her opportunities to lead exercises.

“I enjoy helping people, and coaching is helping somebody reach their dreams and their goals,” Longmire said.

Through her coaching, Longmire hopes to promote messages encouraging people to embrace who they are. When she received her prosthetics, Longmire had the opportunity to put a message on them. She decided on “Be savage, not average.”

“It means that ‘normal’ is not a thing. When someone says I’m crazy and different, that’s the best compliment anyone could get,” Longmire said. “No judgment. Just be yourself and don’t let anyone else tell you who you should be.”

Erinn Varga