Running on a high school track during what was supposed to be his sophomore year of college, Dominique Hubert was just looking for an opportunity.
A year later, he found that opportunity and more. Hubert not only achieved a personal best but also a national best.
The former Eastside track standout became a national champion at the 2012 Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championship this weekend in Minnesota.
Hubert, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, ran the 60-meter dash in 6.65 seconds. Hubert, who started running on the Eastside track team in 2007, graduated in '09 and signed with Southwest Mississippi Community College. He ran for Southwest Mississippi during his freshman year, and planned to graduate in 2011 and enroll at Baylor.
However, junior college disbanded track and field before he had the chance to start his second collegiate season.
"He came back here and he was kind of out of it," Eastside track coach Frankey Iverson said.
Hubert's former track coach then started receiving calls from college track and field programs wondering what Hubert was up to. At that point Iverson called Hubert and told him what he needed to do.
"I called him and I said, ‘look we need to get you back into school. But what you need to do is start running again,'" Iverson said.
Hubert attended Eastside track practices, working out every day while running meets at Emory on the weekend.
"He came and practiced the whole season and got back in shape," Iverson said.
College coaches then started making contact with Iverson and Hubert with seven to nine schools wanting his services.
One of those schools was a first-year track program and Grand Canyon University and its coach Tom Flood.
In its second year, Grand Canyon men's track and field squad claimed the 2012 Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championship with a final team score of 54 points. The National Championship is the second for GCU athletics since joining NCAA Division II in 1990, as the men's soccer program won the title in 1996 after defeating Oakland University 3-1 at GCU.
"Dominique's win was huge because he came in ranked second and ran a very good race," Grand Canyon coach Tom Flood said.
Hubert was also selected as an All-American in the 60-meter dash.
"He's probably one of the best athletes I ever coached, for him to be so versatile in so many events," Iverson said.
After his championship run, Hubert called Iverson to tell him the good news, eventually getting the message through in a text.
"I told him I was proud of him," Iverson said.
Overall, the ‘Lopes won All-American honors in 18 events (top-eight finishers in each event, except top-four in relay events). Those who were named All-Americans for the ‘Lopes are: Karlin Stewart (long jump), Ramon Cooper (long jump and triple jump), Aaron Hill (long jump), Kevin Lashley (long jump and triple jump), Vince Frawley (pole vault), Tyler Sipes (60-meter hurdles), Shavine Hodges (60-meters, 200-meters and 4x400-meter relay), Moya McKenzie (400-meters and 4x400-meter relay), Amber Yingling (triple jump), Ann-Marie Duffus (long jump), Petra Fanty (4x400-meter relay) and Lilian Martinez (4x400-meter relay).
"It is an honor to bring GCU a second national title,"
Flood said. "It truly was an overall team effort. I am very proud and happy for the guys, this is a true reflection of their hard work."
Now at a four-year university, Hubert is not as interested in moving on to Baylor, looking to bring more national titles to the ‘Lopes.
"He loves it there," Iverson said.