“I really don’t know how strong Dieumy is going to be, which is a good thing,” cross country head coach Wayne Angel said.
That sentiment comes from a coach who is witnessing first hand a young man who is exceeding every expectation that is placed before him, both on the field and off.
Eighteen-year-old Dieumy Duclos, who came to Florida A&M from Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla., has wasted little time delivering a positive impact on all those he has come into contact with.
Such positive impact isn’t anything new to the Haiti native. Duclos’ knack for impressing onlookers dates back to his cross country days at Godby High. He became the FHSAA 2A Regional and district champion as well as FHSAA 2A Outdoor State Finals runner up.
Motivation behind the beginnings of Duclos’ running career can be traced back to his older brother, Fendy Duclos, who he says has provided the biggest influence on his life.
“Everything he did, he put his all into. So I always looked up to him,” Duclos said. “Anything he did, I wanted to do. I started running because that was something he was involved in.”
The decision to embark on a running career receives high praise from his new coach, who feels Duclos’ overall performance so far this season has been exceptional.
“I’d have to say Dieumy’s progression has come along a lot faster than anticipated. He’s a very talented young man,” Angel said. “As a freshman, he’s coming in with the capacity of a sophomore or a junior.”
Duclos’ personal evaluation of his performance travels along these same lines.
“I think my season has been pretty successful so far,” Duclos said. “I feel that I’m getting stronger as the days go by. I see my talents improving.”
Shuaib Winters, teammate and 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference cross country champion, feels that Duclos is going to achieve great things this season.
“He’s already showing a promising performance,” Winters said. “He should place in a top spot at the MEAC championships.”
Even with his success, the freshman still has identified areas in his game that could be improved.
“I’ll always look forward to becoming a better athlete. I put a lot of effort into being a successful runner,” Duclos said. “One thing I could do to make that happen is to improve my overall time.”
During the second annual Bethune-Cookman Invitational, Duclos’ most recent meet, he finished third overall with a time of 17:47.
Duclos’ on-field performance isn’t the only way he has been able to catch the attention of his team. He has also been commended for his effortless acclamation the team’s family-like bond.
“I never found adapting to the team to be a difficult task at all,” Duclos explained. “When I made it here, the veterans were very welcoming, so I welcomed them in return.”
One of the major factors that contributed to Duclos’s decision to attend FAMU involved the university’s academic reputation. As a Mechanical Engineering student, one thing he takes great pride in is his role as a student-athlete. Despite the academic challenges that many student-athletes face, the freshman standout has been able to balance the demands of academics and cross country.
“To help myself academically during the season, one thing I decided to do was enter into FAMU’s Trio program,” Duclos said. “I’ve also taken full advantage of the team’s regular study halls.”
Since Duclos’ arrival to FAMU, Angel has been completely satisfied by all that he has witnessed.
“He’s what you would call a model-student-athlete,” Angel said. “He’s simply a coach’s dream.”
Duclos’ next meet for the 2011 season will take place on Sat., Sept. 24 at the Florida State Invitational.