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Liz Evans Soars to New Track Heights, Sets Sights on Olympics

September 2, 2013

By Dale Long, Director of Media Relations

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Decorated Athlete: Liz Evans captured her fifth NCAA Division III high jump national championship this spring. (Photo by Mark Dannenhauer)

     Liz Evans graduated this spring with more than academic degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering—she left as the most decorated student-athlete in Rose-Hulman history.

     Her career achievements featured:

  • Five NCAA Division III high jump national championships (along with two runner-up and one third-place finishes)
  • Eight All-American awards
  • Three Academic All-American honors
  • 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee
  • Five-time Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year
  • Six-time Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Field Athlete of the Year
  • First female Division III athlete to jump 6-foot or better.
  • Ruel Fox Burns Blanket Award as institute’s top graduating female athlete.

     “Liz’s remarkable accomplishments—in and away from athletics—have been a credit to her outstanding fortitude, work ethic, and athletic skills,” says track and field coach Larry Cole. “She’s an one-of-a-kind.”

     Ironically, Evans’ last NCAA title came after one that got away: a disappointing third-place finish (5 feet 6½ inches) at this year’s indoor championships.

     “That was a huge wake-up call. It showed that I needed to work harder and take a critical look at all aspects of my technique to be at the top of my game on every jump,” states the 5-foot-8, 125-pound athlete.

     Then, Evans sprained an ankle during final campus preparations for this year’s outdoors championships. “It hurt so bad…I could barely walk,” she says. She blocked out the pain to clear 5 feet 10½ inches for her fifth national title. The next day she walked with her classmates at commencement.

     “This season was by far my best, because I had to overcome so much along the way. I was pushed to the limit—physically and mentally,” says Evans.

     And, Evans won’t be leaving after all. A NCAA postgraduate scholarship (a first for a Rose-Hulman student-athlete) will keep her on campus for graduate school. She also plans to continue training in hopes of someday competing on the U.S. Olympic Team. A seventh-place finish against athletes from all collegiate levels at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships solidified her standing as one of the nation’s top high jumpers.

     “I’m going to give it my best shot. With further training and physical maturity, I believe there’s no limit on where I can go,” she says.