COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Sophomore Liz Evans (Bicknell/North Knox) became the first female and fourth student-athlete in Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology history to earn an individual national championship by winning the women's high jump title at Capital University on Saturday morning.
Evans cleared 5' 7 3/4" on her first attempt to claim the national championship. Shelby Demos of Wisconsin-Whitewater also cleared 5' 7 3/4" but did so on her third attempt, allowing Evans to win the tiebreaker based on fewest number of misses.
Evans joins Chris Trapp (javelin throw in 1984, '85 and '86) and Ryan Loftus (pole vault in 1997 and '98) as a track and field national champion from Rose-Hulman.
The honor marks the third career All-American award for Evans, who recorded runner-up finishes in the high jump both indoors and outdoors in 2010.
"It's truly amazing to finally be a champion. I felt I may have given the title away the last two years, but I'm so happy that I did it this year," said Evans.
Her strategy throughout the day involved the same preparation as every other meet, but Evans acknowledged the NCAA Championships are different.
"I normally wait for the rest of the field to get out and see what they do. However, going into nationals, I really didn't know what to expect," she added.
Evans claimed the first national title for a Fightin' Engineer athlete since Matt Smith claimed the 100-yard breaststroke championship at the 2003 NCAA Division III Swimming Nationals.
"It's exciting to rewrite the school record book in women's track and field," said Evans.
The championship marks the beginning rather than the end of the NCAA Division III track and field journey for Evans. She will return to action for the outdoor season that begins next weekend.
"I just want to show people what I'm capable of. I would love to clear 5-10 in the outdoor season," said Evans.
The decorated Rose-Hulman track and field history includes 39
All-American awards, six individual national championships and
seven national runner-up efforts.