By Andrew White | Staff Writer
Between school and extracurricular activities, it is not often that you see a two-sport athlete in college, but freshman Liz Wayne elected to take the challenge and is thriving as a student-(dual) athlete at Duquesne University.
Wayne serves as the middle hitter for the volleyball team in the fall and laces up her shoes on the track in the spring for the Duquesne Dukes. Success is nothing new to her as she was also a very decorated high school athlete.
A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Wayne led her high school volleyball team, Cheyenne Mountain, to 27-1 record her senior year and a conference, region and state championship. Wayne was also named to the Colorado All-State First team in her senior year.
Wayne starred on for her club team, the Colorado Juniors, as well, helping them to a second place finish at USA Nationals in the 18 USA division.
On the high school track, Wayne appeared in the state finals meet all four years, which included second place finishes in the long jump and high jump her senior year. She also set new school records in the 4×100 relay, the 4×200 relay, the 4×400 relay, the high jump and the long jump.
Wayne decided on Duquesne because she liked the idea of going to a medium-size Catholic school. Additionally she felt like it was a good fit for her between the coaching staffs at Duquesne as well as the education she would receive.
In her first year on the Bluff, the 6-foot tall Wayne appeared in 12 matches for the Dukes, starting in eight of them. As a middle hitter Wayne piled up 57 kills as well as 27 blocks this past fall.
Wayne acknowledged that playing in high school is nothing like playing in college though, calling the jump, “a challenge and a learning experience.”
In December, Wayne decided she wanted to pick up track as well and would compete in the high jump for the Dukes.
“I have always loved track,” Wayne said. “I wasn’t planning on running in college. I didn’t want to give it up after high school, and I wanted to keep my options open. So I decided to give it a shot.”
On Feb. 5, at the Youngstown State University Mid-Major National Mid-Major Invite, the freshman set a new Duquesne school record in the high jump, recording a jump of 5-8. Prior to her record setting jump the mark had previously been held by sophomore Shannon Taub who set the mark of 5-7.75 back in December.
At the moment Wayne holds the mark for highest jump in the conference for the season. For her record setting weekend Wayne was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week.
Wayne was very humble about her recent accomplishments.
“I feel proud of the things I have accomplished and the things that it took to get there,” said Wayne.
The dual-sport athlete acknowledges the time commitment of playing two sports in college, but says she has found a good balance between school and sports.
While Wayne has enjoyed her most recent success in track, she loves both of the sports she plays equally.
“They are both so great,” Wayne said. “They have both been so good for me and I will always love them both.”
While volleyball is done for the season and won’t pick up again until the fall, Wayne is keeping busy with track. The track and field team travels down to Fairfax, Virginia, for the A-10 Indoor Championships this weekend.
What a great young lady with such a wonderful attitude. It is refreshing to see in today’s student athletes.