TERRE HAUTE —
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.
With the 2013 Division III indoor track and field championships coming this weekend in Naperville, Ill., Evans is favored to capture her third indoor crown and fifth overall.
At a meet at Stevens Point, Wis., she tied a season best with a leap of 5-feet-10 to place first. The weekend before at Anderson, she cleared 5-93⁄4 and barely missed at 5-103⁄4, so she appears to be hitting her stride.
In comparison, Evans won the 2012 indoor nationals at Grinnell, Iowa, with a successful attempt at 5-101⁄2. As a sophomore in 2011 at Columbus, Ohio, she needed only 5-73⁄4 to secure the indoor victory.
Soon after that 2011 win — her first on a national level — Evans told the Tribune-Star for the first time that she thought winning six national titles was realistic.
She hasn’t done anything since then to indicate it’s not.
Evans and her coaches think 5-11 or higher is possible this time and that’s one source of her motivation.
“That’s my goal for the national meet — to jump a 1.81 [meters, which can be converted to 5-11 1/4],” the 2009 North Knox High School graduate admitted over the weekend.
“Right now, she sits sixth on
“Right now, she sits sixth on the all-time Division III indoor list at 5-101⁄2,” Rose assistant coach Matt Cole pointed out. “Clearing 6-0 would tie the all-time Division III mark.”
Rest assured, there are other sources of motivation for Evans.
For example, a fifth straight women’s high jump triumph Saturday would give her the Division III record for most in a row.
Possibly working in Evans’ favor will be the absence of one of her long-time toughest competitors, Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Shelby Demos, who decided not to go out for indoor track this season.
Evans also realizes she’s received six Division III All-America honors (counting her two runner-up finishes in the women’s high jump as a freshman in 2010) — one shy of recent Rose-Hulman graduate and her friend Sutton Coleman for No. 1 on the school’s all-time list. So if she earns two more All-America honors (which would require a top-eight finish in the indoor and outdoor nationals), she’ll move ahead of Coleman by one.
Oh yeah, there’s one more reason that Evans will try her hardest Saturday and it’s the most basic of all.
“I love jumping,” she emphasized. “It’s by far the best thing in the world for me. It’s not hard to come to practice every day. It’s not hard to go to a meet and compete. It’s what I love doing.”
Evans loves the sport so much that she wants to continue to compete after she graduates with degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics in May. She may even make a run at representing the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
If you think that’s crazy talk for a Division III athlete, think again.
Evans’ 5-101⁄2 at last year’s indoor nationals would have placed a respectable eighth in the Division I championships.
Matt Cole and his father, Rose head track coach Larry Cole, said several DIII athletes have competed and fared well in past Olympics, including former gold-medal hurdler Edwin Moses.
“If I keep progressing every single year, I think I have a pretty good shot at it,” Evans said. “But I’ve just got to keep working hard and we’ll see what happens.”
“She trains like a Division I athlete in a Division III environment,” Larry Cole noted, adding that the 5-foot-8, 125-pound Evans is stronger than she appears in street clothes.
“Over the summer, I spent a lot of time working very hard at getting stronger,” she acknowledged.
“She can take on most of the guys on our team [in the weight room] right now,” Larry Cole continued. “That strength has really helped her, not only in her performances, but also with rehabilitating injuries.”
The elder Cole said confidence, almost to the point of arrogance, has developed into another plus for Evans.
“She knows she’s good,” he explained. “She walks into that competition and she knows she’s going to win, plain and simple. She knows when she walks into that building to go against other Division III kids, she’s going to win, and she focuses on that.”
Following the Division III indoor championships this weekend, Matt Cole plans for Evans to take about two weeks “to go back to the basics and really hit the weights hard again” before diving into the outdoor season.
The Engineers’ outdoor season will begin March 23 with the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational.
After that will be the Purdue Invitational on March 30.
“Matt’s taken her to some big-time [indoor] meets,” Larry Cole said. “Last month, they went down to Indiana University and jumped against all Division I competition. … We go to Purdue with her. We go to IU with her.”
Although Evans enjoys racking up individual accomplishments, she’s not above helping out the Rose women’s team as often as possible.
For the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference indoor championships, which took place Feb. 16 at Defiance, Ohio, she did what she was supposed to do by winning the high jump (5-9 1/4). But she also won the long jump (17-10 3/4), placed second in the 60-meter dash (8.12 seconds) and placed third in the triple jump (34-5 3/4) as the female Engineers came in second behind Hanover.
Despite Evans’ unprecedented run of success, most of the attention on Rose-Hulman athletics recently has been on its men’s basketball team, which qualified for the Division III tournament for the second straight year in 2013.
Not the slightest bit jealous, Evans found time to root for coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers in person during the HCAC tournament in Hulbert Arena as they defeated Defiance in the semifinals Feb. 22.
She said she would have attended the Feb. 23 HCAC championship game against Hanover, but she had to miss it because of that track meet in Anderson. Then she was forced to miss Rose’s DIII tourney loss to Calvin on Saturday because she was traveling back from that meet in Wisconsin.
“I’m fine with the basketball team getting attention,” Evans insisted, adding that basketball standout Nate Gissentanner has been a lab partner of hers in past classes.
“A lot of my friends are in different sports on campus … It’s a small community here. Everyone knows everyone, it seems.”
Before she graduates, everyone on the engineering institute’s campus is likely to know Evans as arguably the greatest athlete — male or female — in Rose-Hulman history.
TERRE HAUTE —
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.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose’s Strickland named HCAC MVP again, Shaw wins Coach of the Year
Rose-Hulman senior guard Julian Strickland has been named the 2013-2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and headlines the 12-member All-HCAC first and second teams for men’s basketball, according to an announcement from the league Tuesday.
It is the second straight HCAC MVP honor for Strickland, becoming the first player since Franklin’s Jason Sibley (1997-98 and 1998-99) to earn back-to-back MVP awards. Sibley was a graduate of Terre Haute South High School.
Metro roundup: Rose baseball loses 7-0 in Florida
Mount Union University remained unbeaten this baseball season with a 7-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in a rain-shortened game Tuesday.
Mount Union improved to 5-0 when the game was called after eight innings due to significant rain.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Rose-Hulman men lose game, gain co-HCAC title
Despite a loss at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon, the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and will host the semifinal and championship rounds of this week’s league tournament.
Mount St. Joseph improved to 16-8 overall and finished fourth in the league standings after a 69-57 victory. Rose completed its regular season with a 20-5 mark for the sixth 20-win season in its men’s basketball history.
Female Engineers climb into HCAC tourney with win at Mount St. Joseph
Led by 16 points from senior Kelsey Ploof, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 58-51 in its regular-season finale Saturday to clinch the final spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) earned the sixth seed in the upcoming league tournament and will face Franklin in the quarterfinals Friday at tournament host Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman men clinch share of HCAC title
Rose-Hulman clinched at least a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship and will host the league tournament starting Feb. 28 after winning 71-69 at Franklin on Wednesday night.
Rose’s Alec Houpt hopes to make fifth Division III tournament appearance
Is Alec Houpt the good-luck charm for Rose-Hulman athletics?
Should his likeness appear on a box of Lucky Charms cereal?
Houpt admits he’s not a star in any sport, yet he’s been a member of four teams that have advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament. They were men’s soccer as a sophomore (2011) and senior (2013) and men’s basketball as a sophomore (2011-12) and junior (2012-13).
Streaking Engineers return to national poll
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team has earned a national ranking for the first time this season, reaching the No. 24 spot in the d3hoops.com national top 25 poll released Monday.
Metro Roundup: Rose-Hulman's Montgomery wins HCAC award again
Rose-Hulman’s Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season after a historic performance on Friday.
Shaw wins 300th for first-place Engineers
Rose-Hulman’s Jim Shaw became the second men's basketball coach in program history to win 300 career games as the Fightin' Engineers rallied to defeat Bluffton University 61-55 on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman outscored Bluffton 39-15 in the second half to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and improve to 19-4 on the season. The Engineers are also 14-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and maintain a one-game lead over Defiance in the conference standings. Rose-Hulman needs one win in its last two games to secure hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament.
Rose’s Jim Shaw nearing 300 victories
Rose-Hulman hits the road for Bluffton and a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at 3 p.m. today.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman's Strickland earns national D-III honor
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named to the d3hoops.com National Team of the Week for his efforts in last week’s two men’s basketball victories.
Strickland, other Rose seniors play final home game tonight
Rose-Hulman will play host to Hanover in Senior Night men’s basketball at 7:30 tonight in Hulbert Arena.
The Engineers lead Defiance by one game and Hanover by two in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings entering their final regular-season home game.
Metro roundup: Sycamores, UNI to be national ESPNU game
Indiana State’s final men’s home game of the college basketball season has been chosen for ESPNU’s 1 p.m. telecast on March 1. It’s Senior Day for the Sycamores.
Strickland erupts for 41 in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland scored a career-high 41 points to help lift the Engineers past Manchester 85-65 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday afternoon.
Strickland recorded the eighth 40-point game in the history of Rose men’s basketball in the contest. His effort joins Don Ings (four times from 1967-70), Bryan Egli (twice in 1999) and Ed Downey (once in 1963-64) as 40-point games on the list.
Rose Hulman’s Schultheis repeats as Athlete of the Week
Rose-Hulman’s Austin Schultheis has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for a second consecutive time.
Sole possession of first place in HCAC belongs to Shaw’s Engineers
The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team took its first lead in more than 23 minutes with 1:23 left on the clock and then shut down the Defiance offense to clinch a 58-54 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers (14-4, 10-2 HCAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win over the Yellow Jackets (9-3, 14-5), who entered the contest tied with Rose.
Freshmen lead Rose women to HCAC victory
Sparked by breakout performances from a pair of freshmen, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team held on to defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance 69-59 Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Six-foot-2 forward Josie Schmidt was two shy of her career high with a game-high 17 points. She added five rebounds and a block in an 8-for-14 performance from the field. Classmate Abbie Marshall had one of her best games of the season, totaling a career-best 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with seven boards, five assists and four steals.
Rose, Defiance to battle for first place today
Rose-Hulman and Defiance will square off in a battle for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings at 3 p.m. today in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman needs OT to beat Anderson
Rose-Hulman men¹s basketball coach Jim Shaw did not need a reminder that you
can¹t always judge a team by its records. But he got one anyway.
Anderson edges RHIT women
Shelby Shaffer snapped a 54-54 tie with two free throws at the 11-second
mark, and Anderson University held the Fightin' Engineers in the final
seconds to earn a 58-54 women's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.
Metro roundup: Evans a national high jump qualifier
Rose-Hulman graduate student Liz Evans has qualified for the USATF Indoor Championships in high jump after clearing a career-best indoor height over the weekend.
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