Christ cross

Noteworthy Ascension Catholic Sophie Daigle becomes first-ever Cajuns female cross-country runner to qualify for NCAA championships

Sophie Daigle, a Donaldsonville native and former star of Ascension Catholic High School, clocked a personal best in the 6K and became the first female cross-country runner in University of Louisiana Lafayette history to qualify for the NCAA championships.

She finished third overall in 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 athletics website Ragin’ Cajuns .

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

She followed the leading pack seated in 15e place after the first 2 kilometers of the race before pushing it to the 4.1 kilometer mark, moving up 11 places to finish fourth. In a leading pack that included Van Camp and Morris, Daigle managed to pass both Arkansas’ Mia Cochran and Abilene Christian’s Irene Rono on the home stretch to post her fifth top 10 of the season.

She helped Louisiana to a 19e-place the performance of 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 Outdoor State title in the 1,600 meters in 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 graduate in kinesiology, she is the daughter of Tim and Caryn Daigle. She has three siblings, Seth, Sara and Aybree.

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

Rocky Capello, a native of Donaldsonville, is dragging his college career through both the Southeast and UL. He previously coached her to three state titles in cross country and two state titles in high school athletics.

His accomplishments include:

2022 Sun Belt Athletics First Team

Newcomer of the Year 2021 Sun Belt Indoor Track

2021 Academic All Southland

2021 Southland Conference Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll

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

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 USA Today’s Louisiana network, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at and