Sophie Daigle becomes UL's first-ever women's XC runner to qualify for NCAA championships

Staff Report
Former Ascension Catholic standout Sophie Daigle clocked a personal-best time in the 6K and became the first Women's Cross Country runner in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships after finishing third overall at the NCAA South Central Regional at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course.

Sophie Daigle, a Donaldsonville native and former Ascension Catholic High School standout, clocked a personal-best time in the 6K and became the first Women's Cross Country runner in University of Louisiana at Lafayette history to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

She finished third overall at the NCAA South Central Regional at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course in College Station, Texas.

The senior posted a time of 20:22.2 to set a personal-best after clocking a time of 20:59.3 on the same course nearly four weeks ago, according to the Ragin' Cajuns athletics website.

Daigle finished behind Isabel Van Camp of Arkansas and Gracie Morris of TCU in the field of 179 runners to qualify for the NCAA Championships, scheduled for Nov. 19 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

She kept up with the lead pack sitting in 15th place after the first 2-kilometers in the race before making her push at the 4.1-kilometer mark, moving up 11 spots into fourth. In a lead pack which featured Van Camp and Morris, Daigle was able to overtake both Mia Cochran of Arkansas and Abilene Christian's Irene Rono over the final stretch to post her fifth top-10 finish of the season.

She helped Louisiana to a 19th-place performance on the women's side as the Ragin' Cajuns finished with 523 points.

Previously Daigle was a student-athlete at Southeastern Louisiana University. While at ACHS, she competed in cross country and track and field, winning the Class 1A state outdoor title in the 1,600 meters in both 2016 and 2017 and the 3,200 in 2017. She finished third in the 3,200 in 2016, and placed second at the Class 1A cross country championships in 2016 and third in 2015.

A kinesiology major, she is the daughter of Tim and Caryn Daigle. She has three siblings, Seth, Sara, and Aybree.

Tim Daigle was her coach in high school, coaching her to the 2017 track and field state championship at Ascension Catholic.

Donaldsonville native Rocky Capello coaches her in her college career at both Southeastern and UL. He previously coached her to three cross country state titles and two track and field state titles in high school.

Her accomplishments include:

2022 Sun Belt Outdoor Track First Team

2021 Sun Belt Indoor Track Newcomer of the Year

2021 Academic All-Southland

2021 Southland Conference Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll

2021 All-Southland Conference 1500m (Second Team, Outdoor)

2020 Southland Conference Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll

2020 All-Louisiana 5k, 3k (Third Team, Indoor)

2020 All-Louisiana DMR (Second Team, Indoor)

2020 All-Southland Conference DMR (Second Team, Indoor)

2019 Southland Conference Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll

SLU Indoor Record Holder (one-mile, 8k, 3k and 5k) 

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Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.