A local brother and sister track and field duo are preparing to bring a little family flavor to a national track meet this week.
Siblings Jacob and Bailey Daigle, who are both students at Assumption High, qualified to compete in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships this week in Greensboro, N.C. The championships, which started on Monday and ends on Sunday, are being held on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.
Jacob will compete in the boys’ 15-16-year-old 3,000-meter race, while Bailey will participate in the girls’ 17-18-year-old pole vault competition.
Both athletes are expected to compete in their respective events on Friday in Greensboro.
Bailey, who has won the last two Class 4A state outdoor championships in the girls’ pole vault, said she looks forward to competing at the national meet.
“This is a really great opportunity to attend one of the best meets in the country,” Bailey said. “It’s really exciting.”
Bailey, who will enter her senior season at Assumption this fall, qualified for the national meet by winning a regional competition at the USATF qualifier earlier this month in Natchez, Miss.
Now she will test her might against some of the best in the country this week. She has a personal best of 12-feet in the event.
“There are a lot of really awesome athletes from around the nation,” Bailey said. “I plan on going out there and doing my best. I hope I can go out there and compete. I look forward to seeing how I can do. I’m just really excited to be there.”
Bailey’s younger brother Jacob is also hoping to place high this week after he qualified by placing second in the 3,000-meter run at the regional competition. He has a best time of 10 minutes, 11 seconds in the 3,000-meters.
“It’ll give me a chance to run with some of the best guys out there right now,” Jacob said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”
Jacob, who is entering his sophomore year at Assumption, is coming off a successful freshman track season. He won the District 8-4A title in the boys’ 1,600-meter run, and he placed seventh at the state outdoor track meet this year.
Jacob said he ran some good times throughout summer competition, and he is confident he’ll have a high finish at the national meet.
“I think I should do fine if I just use what I learned during the season and work on everything I was lacking in,” Jacob said. “I just want to run a good race.”
Both Jacob and Bailey, who competed for the New Heights Gym Youth Club of New Iberia this summer, said they have trained hard all year, and they are ready to see how they will fare against national competition. But they are also looking forward to cheering each other on in Greensboro.
“Jacob has been working really hard all summer long,” Bailey said. “He still young, but very talented. I’m really excited that he will get this experience. It’ll really good for him.”
Since track is a family sport, Bailey said the siblings share a friendly relationship with each other. Both Bailey and Jacob are the younger siblings of former Nicholls State volleyball/track standout Danielle Daigle.
“It’s a positive family thing,” Bailey said. “We’re always pushing each other to be the best that we can be. We’re very competitive, but we stay positive about it.”
Jacob said he feeds off of his sister’s success.
“We try to out-do each other, but I think it’s a good thing,” Jacob said. “When she places good, I always push myself to either do the same thing or beat her.”
As the siblings prepare to travel to Greensboro, they took time out to thank the two people they love the most in their parents Glenn and Sandy Daigle of Napoleonville.
“Our parents give us a good support system,” Bailey said. “We wouldn’t be anywhere without it. They are really supportive. It’s a really great feeling.”