CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Minnesota State Moorhead senior Brian Huber capped his decorated Dragons track and field career with a national championship.
Huber won the men’s long jump at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships on Thursday with a leap of 26 feet, 2¼ inches, which also set an MSUM school record.
“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication,” said Huber, who is from Staples, Minn. “It’s kind of cool to know that I finally did it. It feels like it’s been a long ride. … To finally be a national champion, it’s pretty cool.”
Huber is the first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference athlete to win a national long jump title, dating back to 1992. Chris Nulle was the last MSUM men’s track athlete to win a national title, winning an indoor crown in the weight throw in 2003.
Huber is the seventh Dragons men’s track athlete to win a national championship.
“It really hasn’t set in yet,” Huber said. “It’s obviously a pretty cool feeling to be on top of the award stand and everyone is cheering for you. I’m sure it slowly will (sink in) as time goes by.”
Huber had the best jump heading into the finals at 25-2¼ before Charles Greaves of Texas A&M-Kingsville took the lead with a leap of 25-10¾. Huber answered with the winning jump on his second-to-last attempt in the competition.
“I knew somebody would end up jumping big like that,” Huber said. “It’s nice that I could respond in a pretty good way.
“This is something I’ve dreamt about. I’ve had post-it notes on my mirrors for a few years now, saying ‘Be a national champion,’ and to finally be able to take that down and be true is one of the best feelings in the world.”
Huber said he would like to continue to compete now that his collegiate career is complete. He was a four-time, first-team All-American for the Dragons.
“I’m really proud of him,” said Dragons track coach Ryan Milner. “I’m happy to see him end it this way and I’m excited to see what he does next.”
Dragons senior Josh Young also had a strong first day at the national meet, advancing to Saturday’s finals in the men’s 1,500 meters. Young, from Moorhead, finished third in his heat, running the third-best time of Thursday’s prelims. He crossed the finish line in 3 minutes, 51.11 seconds.
The 1,500 finals are scheduled for 2:45 p.m. CST on Saturday.