Hubbell ’20 joins rare company by competing in NAIA National Championships on back-to-back weekends
There are involved students…. and then there’s Corbin Hubbell ’20.
To say that Hubbell, a junior political science and history major at Doane, stays busy, would be an understatement.
Academically, Hubbell recently added two majors, history and political science. He has aspirations of going to graduate school, studying law or political science, and hopes to land an internship in Washington D.C. this summer.
For extracurricular activities, Hubbell is involved in Doane Choir, Doublewide (men’s a capella group), Alpha Pi Epsilon, Turning Point USA, and Newman Club.
Athletically, Hubbell competes in cross country, track & field (indoor and outdoor), and dance. He is a rare three-sport athlete at the college level.
Earlier this month, Hubbell accomplished something even more rare -- competing at NAIA National Championships in two different sports, on back-to-back weekends.
“It’s hard to think of a way to describe it,” he says. “Words can’t give it justice to how much of a blessing that was.”
From February 28th through March 2nd, Hubbell was one of Doane’s athletes competing at the NAIA National Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Lincoln native qualified for the 1000m race and ran a personal-best 2:33.30 in the prelims. Hubbell had transitioned from long-distance running to competing in more mid-distance races this season, primarily the 800m, 1000m, and mile.
As soon as he returned from the Track & Field National Championships in Brookings, South Dakota, his mind instantly shifted to dance. Doane’s dance team had qualified for nationals for the first time in school history and was set to compete March 8th and 9th in Davenport, Iowa.
“We missed nationals by .17 last year,” Hubbell said. “That lit a fire under our team. We worked so hard to make sure we got to nationals this year.”
Although the results didn’t go as Hubbell and the dance team would have hoped, it was still a very rewarding experience for everyone involved. Doane finished 11th out of 12 teams, representing the GPAC as one of three teams in conference to make it to nationals.
In his junior year, Hubbell had qualified for his first two national championships, on back-to-back weekends. It’s a feat that’s hard to fathom, and one that Rick Schmuecker, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletics Communications, says a Doane athlete had not accomplished prior to Hubbell in his 18 years with Doane.
“I’m blessed beyond belief,” Hubbell says. “I know that no matter where else I could have gone, there would be no experience like the one I’m receiving at Doane.”
Managing schedules has not always been easy for Hubbell, but thanks to the understanding of his coaches and faculty members, he has been able to make it work.
Ashley Lyon, Doane’s Head Cheer and Dance Coach, has moved dance practices to the evening, typically around 5:30 or 6:00pm, to not conflict with cross country and track practice.
“I think it’s important to be empathetic and understanding when you have a multi-sport athlete or a highly involved student to be able to share that time,” she says.
Because choir and track practice both happen at the same time on Wednesdays, Hubbell has worked it out to go to track practice one week and choir practice the next week.
Earlier this year, Hubbell had a dance competition at Concordia and a track meet at Doane on the same day. He was scheduled to run the mile only an hour and a half after the dance competition had ended. He changed clothes in the car, went straight into abbreviated warmups, and then ran a personal-best 4:33 in the mile.
“I guess the dance competition was a good enough warm-up,” he said with a big smile.
That is just one of many examples of Hubbell having to maximize his time in order to make it from activity to activity, but despite his hectic schedule, he says he “wouldn’t change a thing.”
“He amazes me all the time in the way that he is able to handle his schedule, achieve at a high level, and keep a great attitude through it all,” said Brad Jenny, Head Cross Country coach.
Hubbell has been very appreciative of coaches like Jenny who have been flexible and understanding with his busy schedule.
“I’m fortunate that coaches like Brad understand that his athletes are there because they want to be there,” he said. “He understands how much dance and choir mean to me in addition to running. He has put the workouts in my own hands and has faith in me that I’ll be able to get it done.
“One time I did a mountain run in Red Rocks on a choir trip to get my workout in. Whatever it takes to stay on top, I will do it.”
Academically, it has been a struggle at times for Hubbell to miss a fair amount of classes, but his professors have worked with him step-by-step to ensure he’s not getting behind.
“Having an average class size of 11 students at Doane allows us to have great relationships with our professors,” Hubbell says. “I’ve been able to get to know them and communicate well with them. They’re awesome about getting me what I need to in order to not get too far behind and keep me on track.”
Overall, Hubbell says he wouldn’t change his Doane experience for anything. While he was very involved as a student at Lincoln East High School, he never envisioned he would be able to do this much (and succeed to this level) in college.
“My Doane experience has been unexpected but absolutely worthwhile. If I knew what I know now, there would be no way I would pick any other college.”