Q&A: Meet Track Star Rodrigue Demard

Robinson senior breaks the school record for triple jump and reflects on his experience doing Track and Field.


Photo Courtesy of Jack Poynor

Rodrigue Demard (’23) doing the triple jump at District Finals.

Jadyn Grayes, Fun Coordinator

Rodrigue Demard (’23) has been doing track at Robinson for the past four years. Since then, he has dedicated three to five days a week to practices as well as weekends for meets. His love for the sport motivates him to balance athletics and school as he works towards graduation.

At the district track and field finals on Thursday, April 20, Demard took first place in the triple jump event and broke the school record for the farthest jump at 12.71 meters. He has been juggling sports, school and a job for almost two years successfully and shares with us the key to his triumph.

Q: What strengths do you believe make you a great track athlete?

A: “My mind is unbreakable. My willpower is strong because you’ve got to think big. You have to be like “I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that,” even if you’re not exactly where you want to be. I have a lot of hope and I just believe in myself because if you don’t believe in yourself then who’s going to believe in you?”

Q: What makes you so passionate about track?

A: “I just love it. The feeling of making every new PR (personal record) and doing better at something just feels so amazing inside. I could be having the worst day, but when I get to a track meet and set a PR it’s like “Ah, I’ll be alright.” You get better with people that want to get better with you and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you run; they’ll be supporting you from the sidelines.”

Q: Is there a coach or athlete you look up to as a role model and why?

A: “Definitely Coach Archie. He’s been there since Day One I’d say. He introduced me to triple jump and I remember a phrase he said to me: “They could be doing better than you right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re an overall better athlete.” It’s just you vs. yourself.”

Q: Rank the top three priorities currently in your life. 

A: Getting to States, Graduation, and working towards success.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face as an athlete?

A: “When you’re trying to do better at what you do but you can’t make it past that breakpoint. You’re like “What am I doing wrong, and what can I do to improve?” But eventually, you get it, that’s just how it goes.”

Q: How do you manage your athletic responsibilities and school?

A: “It’s pretty easy for me because I try to get all of my work done in class, and if I can’t I take it and finish it at home. Other times I’ll even bring my schoolwork to my job with me.”

Q: What does your daily routine look like on a day you have practice?

A: “I wake up, do a little warm-up or stretch a little bit, and think to myself “I’m gonna PR I’m gonna do this and that I’m gonna be great,” because you have to think big thoughts. Then I come to school, get through the day and get to my track meet. I get my cleats on, warm up on the track, check the jump pit, and get ready for game time.”

Q: Do you have a certain diet/nutrition plan during track season?

A: “I don’t eat all the junk I would normally eat. During non-track season, I’ll eat Mcdonald’s, I’ll eat candy, you know a lot of stuff. But when it comes to track season, I try to watch myself. I can’t do all this because it’s bad for my body and it truly affects me and my jumps. So, I do make sure I eat things like rice, chicken, vegetables, just the basics.”

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to an upcoming athlete?

A: “No matter where you are right now, just be great.”

Q: How does being an athlete improve other aspects of your life?

A: “Me as a person. I have a determined personality that carries through every part of my life. When I do good at a track meet it boosts my confidence and I walk around lighter.”

Q: How do you handle mental pressure during track meets?

A: “I mean sometimes it does get to you, but other times you just think “Either way, I’m gonna have to run and get through this,” so might as well think great thoughts while doing it.”

Q: Recently you’ve had plenty of success breaking the school record for triple jump, but do you remember your first success in track? Describe it.

A: “My first success in track was when I made the regionals for the 4×4 in my sophomore year. It made me feel fantastic, it gave me butterflies in my stomach. I thought “I could really do good at this, I just need to work hard and get better.” I will say though, starting off I’d look at everyone else and wonder how they got this far. But when I started, I didn’t know I’d ever break a school record and look at me now.”