TERRE HAUTE —
Liz Evans does not believe in jinxes.
So she doesn’t mind admitting she would like to become the first six-time national champion in the history of Rose-Hulman athletics.
A runner-up in the women’s high jump in the NCAA Divison III indoor and outdoor championships as a freshman in 2010, Evans cleared 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches to earn first place in the 2011 indoor nationals March 12 at Columbus, Ohio.
That’s No. 1.
“I jumped consistently the entire year,” Evans told the Tribune-Star during the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational outdoor meet Saturday. “So for me, a 5-7 3/4 is kinda what I expected, although I wanted to go higher.”
The Rose sophomore missed three attempts at 5-8 3/4 — barely knocking the bar over with her foot on the second try at that height — she said.
Now Evans must turn her attention to the future, where there’s a possibility of five more Division III national titles — including the 2011 outdoors May 26-28 at Delaware, Ohio.
“For the next five times, yes, I want to win [national championships],” she said without hesitation.
Previous Rose-Hulman national champs were Chris Trapp (outdoor men’s javelin throw in 1984, 1985 and 1986) and Ryan Loftus (indoor men’s pole vault in 1997 and 1998) in track and field and Matt Smith (men’s 100-yard breaststroke) in swimming.
Rose assistant coach Matt Cole, who works with Evans regularly, prefers she take the “one day at a time, one meet at a time” approach.
He did say, however, that Evans can jump “as high as she wants to” as she gets older.
Asked what she can she do to improve over the next two-plus years, Cole replied: “Get stronger.”
“A lot more lifting [in the weightroom],” he explained. “I mean, she’s going to grow and she’s going to mature even more. She’s only a sophomore. She’s only 20. Here in the next couple years — if she stays with it, if she stays consistent in her training — she’ll be a young, fit lady.”
Evans and Cole think 5-10 is a realistic target for the 2011 outdoor season, which continues for the Engineers on Saturday with the Hanover Invitational.
“I do want to increase my height,” Evans noted. “I would like to see a 5-10, but I’d have to jump a 5-9 before then and a 5-8 before that.”
“The month of May is going to be a crucial month,” Cole emphasized. “That’s probably when we would see 5-10 … after a few good weeks of hitting the weights and staying consistent.”
Over the years, Evans has demonstrated a knack for making gradual improvements.
As a senior at North Knox in 2009, Evans tied for fifth in the girls high jump in the IHSAA state finals with a leap of 5-6. As a junior in 2008, she placed sixth with a 5-5.
“When I came here, I didn’t expect to be this good,” Evans acknowledged. “But I worked very hard … and it has paid off.”
Having competed in several field events and played soccer at North Knox, she’s more specialized now.
“Liz was a very good high school athlete,” Cole mentioned. “We knew her best event would be the high jump. So when she came here as a freshman, our goal was to let her focus on the high jump and we worked on improving her already-existing God-given talent in that event.
“She had an excellent freshman year. She gained a lot of confidence, both indoors and outdoors, and that confidence showed [in the recent indoor nationals]. This time, she was a different young lady. She had a lot of confidence. She knew she could perform and she went out and did it.”
Evans still likes to dabble in other events when possible, proving that Saturday by long-jumping a school-record 17-1 1/4 to place first and set a school record.
Oh yeah, she also high-jumped 5-5 to provisionally qualify for the outdoor nationals.
A double major in math and electrical engineering, there’s little doubt that Evans will be able to land a high-paying job when she graduates. But she might delay that for a while if her athletic career goes the way she hopes.
“I think it would be awesome to continue with high jump and, if I get good enough, try to get into the Olympics,” Evans said.
That would be an improbable development, considering the innocent way she discovered the sport seven years ago.
“It was toward the end of my seventh-grade year and the only reason I tried it was because my brother [Ben] jumped,” Evans recalled. “He was one of those cool eighth-graders and I thought, ‘Sweet, if he can jump, maybe I can.’ My first jump was at 4 feet and I cleared it with no problem.”
She added that even if she had missed 4 feet, she would have tried at least a few more times.
Who knows? That kind of determination might help Evans crash through the 5-10 barrier sooner rather than later.
“She is just so committed with the day-to-day training routine that her and Matt have developed over the past two years,” stressed Rose-Hulman head track coach Larry Cole, father of Matt Cole.
Rose sophomore seeking more national high-jump titles
TERRE HAUTE —
Liz Evans does not believe in jinxes.
Rose-Hulman swimmers flying to nationals
Rose-Hulman swimmers John Craig Huster and Orion Martin have qualified for the Division III national meet in the 100 butterfly
Despite four NCAA Division III titles, Rose-Hulman’s Liz Evans remains as driven as ever
Even though Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans has won four NCAA Division III titles in the women’s high jump, getting motivated is still easy for her.
Ultra-competitive athletes find ways.
Balsbaugh’s late-season scoring giving Rose-Hulman a lift
If someone were to predict before last weekend that Rose-Hulman would capture its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in men’s basketball and that senior Brenton Balsbaugh would be named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, fans probably would believe the first statement but consider the second as wishful thinking.
Rose-Hulman baseball team kicking off season in Florida
Jeff Jenkins is serious about his baseball.
Rose-Hulman men clinch conference title
Rose-Hulman will host the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament and claimed the league’s regular-season title with a 59-57 win at Hanover College on Saturday.
No. 23 Rose-Hulman takes down No. 22 Transylvania on the road
No. 23 ranked Rose-Hulman claimed a two-game lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings with a 54-49 victory at No. 22 Transylvania University on Saturday.
Rose-Hulman 18-2 after pulling away from Anderson
Rose-Hulman opened the second half on a 20-3 run to pull away and earn a convincing 71-40 men’s basketball victory at Anderson University on Wednesday night.
Freshman paces Engineer women to HCAC win
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team improved to 10-10 for the season and 6-7 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 52-44 win over Anderson on Wednesday in Hulbert Arena.
Rose men top Franklin
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-2 overall and kept its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference lead at 8-1 with a 58-42 men's basketball victory at Franklin College on Wednesday night.
Rose men run winning steak to 11 games
Anderson arrived in Terre Haute with a 7-6 record and a scoring average of 76.5 points per game.
Anderson holds off rally by Rose women
Rose-Hulman rallied from an 11-point deficit to close within three points late, but Anderson University held on to earn a 64-57 victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball Wednesday night inside O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.
Rose-Hulman men ranked 26th in Division III
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team is ranked 26th nationally in the d3hoops.com national weekly poll released on Thursday.
Gerken hits game-winner to put Rose-Hulman at 9-1 on season
Making the game-winning shot, with what turned out to be seven-tenths of a second to go, was probably the easy part for Jon Gerken on Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Rose women struggle from field in loss to Hanover
In the Rose-Hulman women’s college basketball game, frigid shooting undermined good work the Engineers did in other aspects of the game against Hanover.
The Engineers came out on the wrong end, 55-43.
Efficient Engineers stifle Millikin
The word that probably best describes the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team is efficiency.
Rose-Hulman women's basketball regains Clabber Girl Trophy
Rose-Hulman reclaimed the Clabber Girl Trophy for the first time since 2009 with an 80-74 women’s basketball victory over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Tuesday night in Hulbert Arena.
Balanced Rose tops Fontbonne
Senior forward Nate Gissentanner came off the bench to deliver 14 points for balanced Rose-Hulman in a 72-54 men’s basketball victory over Fontbonne University on Wednesday night in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman men's basketball preview: Engineers looking to follow up last year’s success
It’s pretty safe to say that expectations for the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team have not been this high since the late 1990s when the Engineers reached the NCAA Division III tournament three times within a four-year period.
Rose-Hulman women's basketball preview: Engineers continuing to improve
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team didn’t dominate many opponents last season when it ended up with records of 9-18 overall and 6-12 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Earlham tragedy leads to Rose football cancellation
Little did Rose-Hulman’s football players and coaches know, their 42-8 home victory over Anderson University last Saturday turned out to be their final game of the season.
This weekend's Rose-Hulman vs. Earlham football game canceled
Due to Friday's tragic events involving three Earlham College students, the football game between Earlham and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been canceled.
Anderson squeaks past Rose-Hulman
Anderson University scored in the 11th minute and held off a Rose-Hulman charge to earn a 1-0 men's soccer victory in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal match on Wednesday night at the Engineer Intramural Field.
Rose swimmers near top because of vets, youth
Rose-Hulman swimming depth is at an all-time high, putting the Engineers at No. 15 in the NCAA Division III national rankings.
A bigger taste?
On the night of Oct. 14, Rose-Hulman basketball fans were treated to something described by a couple of men’s players as “spectacular” and “epic” when they all jammed into Hulbert Arena for the insititute’s first “Midnight Madness” to tip off a season.
The memorable site wasn’t a 360-degree dunk or a no-look, behind-the-back pass.
It was Rose men’s coach Jim Shaw performing the “Bernie Dance,” based on the deceased character from the 1989 movie “Weekend At Bernie’s.”
“For a second, I thought he was having a seizure,” senior starting guard Austin Weatherford said with a straight face later.
Rose women picked for 6th
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, according to a preseason poll of league coaches released Tuesday.
Hanover and Franklin were selected for first and second respectively, with just two poll points separating the two squads.
Rose-Hulman no match for Franklin
Franklin showcased its No. 23 NCAA Division III ranking from d3football.com in a 56-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football Saturday.
Rose blanks Woods 3-0 in women’s soccer
Rose-Hulman women’s soccer coach Amy Helliwell is riding a youth movement to what she hopes could produce a strong turnaround in this 2012 season.
It has so far.
Led by freshman Hayley Gilliam, a Zionsville native, the Engineers improved to 5-4-1 for the season with a dominant 3-0 victory against cross-county rival St. Mary-of-the-Woods College on Wednesday at Jim Rendel Field.
METRO ROUNDUP: Engineers dominate HCAC honors
Rose-Hulman Institute student-athletes earned three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards, in results released by the league office on Monday.
West Vigo graduate John Burt was named HCAC Defensive Player of the Week and Eric Schaible the Special Teams Player of the Week in football, and B.J. Thompson earned Player of the Week honors in men’s soccer.
Snyder throws for two early TDs in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman scored 33 points in the middle two quarters and held off a Defiance rally to earn a 33-20 victory in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football opener for both schools Saturday.
Rose’s record setter
Kyle Kovach got off to a great start in Rose-Hulman’s football season opener Saturday night in what turned out to be a heartbreaking 29-28 home loss to Kalamazoo College at Cook Stadium.
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- Rose-Hulman swimmers flying to nationals