Dieusi Armand didn’t want to stop. Coming off a successful indoor season, conventional wisdom said that the Westbury jumper should sit out a few weeks, rest her legs, and then, as April dawned, gear up for another successful May and June.
That’s what many high-level high school athletes do this time of year, and that’s what Armand’s coaches wanted for her. But, she would have none of it. Armand, who took silver in the triple jump at the indoor state championships earlier this month, was wound up and ready to go.
“I had a week [long] break,” Armand said. “Then, I kept asking ‘can I practice today?’ My coaches were just like, ‘no, no.’ Then I finally got to go to practice and it just felt like the same push and the same motivation.”
Once her coaches allowed her to jump back into her final season before taking her talents to Hampton University in Virginia, Armand didn’t miss a beat. She won both the long and triple jump at the third annual Autism Awareness Invitational at North Shore High School Saturday.
Armand flew 17 feet, eight inches in the long jump, 37 feet, 5 ½ inches in the triple jump, and cleared five feet to place second in the high jump, dropping a jump-off to New Rochelle’s Chiamaka Odenigbo.
Armand said that her take-off phase in the long jump was particularly good.
“It was my first event, so all my adrenaline went to that,” Armand said.
Armand competed in triple and high jump simultaneously, always a challenge in events that require a heavy amount of concentration.
“I don’t think my head was straight in the high jump,” Armand said. “I had to do high and triple at the same time and it was hard to just focus on one. I feel like that kind of threw me off. It was frustrating and hit me hard. It was like ‘oh my goodness, I have to high jump. Oh my goodness, I have to triple jump.’”
The event, organized by the North Shore High School track and field program, raised money for the Nassau-Suffolk Autism Society and came two day before the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. North Shore girls coach Neal Levy’s 12-year-old son Robby is autistic.
“Whenever you can give back to the community, specifically a special organization like the Nassau-Suffolk Autism Society, it’s a really wonderful thing,” Neal said.
One of Levy’s athletes, Carolyn Doyle won the 800 meters in two minutes, 24.15 seconds. Doyle passed her teammate, Sophie Rosencrans, at the 400-meter mark and held on to win. Rosencrans was second in 2:26.56.
“I didn’t really have a plan. I just wanted to run fast,” Doyle said. “I know Sophie’s really, really fast so I figured I should pass her earlier and we’d work together to both get fast times.”
Doyle and Rosencrans' teammate, Nicole Schneider, won the 1,500 in 4:53.22.
On the boys side, Westbury's Rodney Jerome won the 400 meter hurdles in 1:00.15. His teammate, Jarvis Kuunifaa won the 200 in 23.49 seconds.