Six percent of all female high school students find their way into competing in collegiate track, according to the official NCAA website.
Seeing how small that percentage could be, it would seem a nearly impossible task for an average athlete to join the ranks.
But Kettle Run doesn’t have average athletes. It has Sofie Haugsdahl.
Senior Sofie Haugsdahl is the current holder of two Kettle Run records, a state champion, a dedicated thrower, impeccable cupcake maker, and a school-renowned trainer. Best of all, her accomplishments do not stop there, as she has committed to Mary Baldwin University to continue the track and field career that had already made her a staple in Fauquier County’s high school sports programs.
Haugsdahl began her journey toward collegiate sports about four years ago, and it was a beginning that founded her true high school passion.
“I started playing around with the shot in 8th grade at home with my dad and sister,” said Haugsdahl about her humble beginnings. “Then I started competing my freshman year and have been since then.”
The shotput and discus thrower has practiced her art rigorously and her work ethic is something to be admired by aspiring collegiate athletes.
“I would describe my work ethic as dedicated,” Haugsdahl said. “I would go and throw with my dad at open tracks during the off seasons, and I took three classes of life fitness to improve my strength and explosiveness.”
Life Fitness Coach Bill Whisenant described the student athlete as being consistent and intensive when it came to the workout classes.
“She has developed herself into the strongest girl in the school,” said Whisenant. “One of the strongest girls I’ve trained in my many years as a high school strength coach.”
The success that came off of her intense work ethic carried Haugsdahl to receiving offers for recruitment from over 40 schools. She decided to accept Mary Baldwin’s offer in a decision that she described as “not very hard.”
“They were one of the first schools to contact me and made me feel like family from day one. [The university] first contacted me junior year and I went for a tour, a lunch and a practice, and the coaches came to a couple of my meets that year.”
Haugsdahl kept contact with the head coach of the school and a home visit was made, where said coach could introduce herself to the family. This home visit influenced the thrower to make her final decision. The Haugsdahl family is not new to collegiate athletes, Haugsdahl’s older sister Disa, graduate from the class of 2016, committed to Lynchburg for volleyball. She discussed the impact of watching her younger sister be placed in the same position she was nearly two years prior.
“Watching Sofie go through the recruiting and college selection process was a fun experience,” Disa said. “When I was looking at schools we traveled across the country to visit schools and always made sure to get a tee shirt before we left.”
Haugsdahl patiently waited for news about her track star sister, as she could not attend many of the trips her sister went on. The family made sure that they sent tee shirts from the visited schools to the volleyball star.
“Listening to Sofie talk about Mary Baldwin reminded me of the excitement and anticipation I had when looking at school and ultimately committing to Lynchburg,” said Disa.
One thing is sure: Sofie Haugsdahl is one-of-a-kind and Mary Baldwin will soon find out why.