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Dream dash: Eastside grad wins national championship

COVINGTON -- Dreams came true for former Eastside sprinter Dominique Hubert when he won the national championship in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.65 seconds running for Grand Canyon University (Ariz.) in the 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships at Mankato, Minn.

Even though Hubert won, he came into the championship run without the fastest time. That belonged to Lincoln's (Mont.) Romel Lewis. However, Hubert was able to run his personal best to claim the national championship. Lewis finished right behind running the 60 in 6.67 seconds.

"I just couldn't believe it," Hubert said. "I was thankful. That was my best time; it's a big deal for me."

It wasn't an easy task for Hubert, who had to overcome a lot of obstacles. As a high school junior running in the 2008 Class AAAA meet, Hubert finished third in the 100 and 200 with times of 10.7 and 21.82 seconds.

His best bet for winning state was supposed to come in his senior year. But because of an injury, he was unable to compete for the state championship. His first year of college was not any easier as he struggled with nagging injuries. To make matters worse, his college, Southwest Mississippi Community College, decided to disband its track program, landing him back in Covington without any direction.

That was when his high school coach, Frankey Iverson, got involved. Iverson got him headed in the right direction and helped get him to Arizona. That was why the first call Hubert made after winning the national championship was to Iverson.

"He called me as soon as he won; he texted me," Iverson said. "I'm proud of him. It's been a long time coming. For him to finally get that championship under his belt ... I'm happy for him."

"I just want to thank coach Iverson at Eastside High School and everyone else who helped out," Hubert said.

The secret to Hubert's success is to remain calm and relaxed even during what could possibly be the most intense time of his life.

"My thing is: Come off the blocks more relaxed and not tense up. It's all about getting out of the blocks quick enough," Hubert said.

With a national championship under his belt, the next big event on Hubert's plate is to be invited to the tryout for the Olympics.

"Tryouts are next year," Hubert said.