Andrew Van Dieran | November 29, 2018
At any given moment, there are numerous prestigious athletes present on Notre Dame’s campus. With currently elite programs — football, women’s and men’s basketball, fencing, hockey, lacrosse, etc. — and a historic repertoire of athletic excellence, Notre Dame has built a reputation for producing strong competitors. However, there are plenty of athletes on campus who do not earn as much publicity.
One of these athletes is Matt McCubbins, who works as a tech analyst in the Human Resources department at the University.
A striking figure in his own right — about 6-foot-4 and wire-thin — McCubbins has made a name for himself as a high jumper on the USA Track and Field (USATF) Masters team, with Masters track being the division of USATF for athletes over the age of 35. McCubbins, now 47 years old, is often a top finisher in his age group — currently in the 45-50 group — and has won six national titles in the Masters High Jump over the course of his career, which began in 2011.
Like many kids, McCubbins would often jump around his house in Buchanan, Michigan, while growing up, attempting to touch the top of a doorway, then the ceiling. Once he could do that, McCubbins said, he moved outside to start progressing up a standard basketball hoop — touching the net, then the backboard, then hanging on the rim. By the time he hit senior year, he could finally dunk. McCubbins said that for someone who grew up watching legendary dunkers like Julius Erving and Michael Jordan, this was a massive accomplishment.
McCubbins said he enjoyed taking part in sports involving jumping, trying out volleyball, basketball and even doing a short stint as a high jumper in high school. As he progressed in age, however, McCubbins wanted to find a sport in which he could compete for the long haul.
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