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.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
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.
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