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East Lake track star plans for next steps at University of Miami

May 18, 2023

Nine-year-old Sophie Haag was perfectly content with racing her gymnastics teammates down the floor to the vault to see who was fastest.

But 10-year-old Sophie caught the track bug and never looked back.

“My mom entered me into my first track meet when I was 10,” said Haag from her coach’s classroom at East Lake High School. “I cried the whole way there, through the entire meet and the whole way home. But I won.”

And she kept winning. So, she kept showing up.

“I just like how individual it is, how you can see the work you do show up on the track,” Haag said. “It’s just you against the time.”

Haag transferred from Calvary Christian to East Lake for her senior season and runs the 100 - and 200-meter events as well as relays. She is committed to run track for the University of Miami in the fall. Haag will compete in the FHSAA state championship meet on the University of North Florida campus on Saturday, May 20.

Sophie Haag preparing to run

According to head coach Britt Taylor, Sophie is a role model for her younger teammates and sets a positive example in practice and on meet days.

“Her attention to detail is just incredible,” Taylor said. “Her success is a direct result of her work ethic and preparation.”

Haag is excited to channel that work ethic into long-term gains while running for Miami and possibly even competing in the Olympics one day. She looks forward to the coaching, the state-of-the-art facilities and teammates, who are all there for the same reason.

“I’m just grateful to go into a program like Miami,” Haag said. “I’m excited for the culture of the team. Everything is just going to be next-level.”

Back home, her mom may not be the one signing her up for meets anymore, but Haag knows she is her biggest support. She has served a coaching role in much of Sophie’s career to this point, even taking classes to study the sport.

“She fell in love with it just as much as I did,” Haag said. “We grew together.”

Sophie Haag and her mom