Senior Caitlin Lane took top honors at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships last Sunday, becoming the third Big Ten individual champion in the history of the women's program, and the third in the last three years, following Kim McGreevy in 1996, and Bridget Franek in 2009. Lane unleashed a blistering kick to cross the finish line in 19:58 over the 6,000-meter course and lead her team to a third-place finish in the team standings.
The following is the eighth of a series of blog posts from senior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.). Lane is a team captain, as well as
an NCAA all-region standout in cross country, and an NCAA qualifier in track
and field. The senior also holds a pair of school records, including the indoor
1,000-meters (2:45.95), and outdoor 4x800-meter relay (8:39.44) outdoors.
Big Ten Championship Recap
I'm not normally one to be at a loss for words. But trying to put together something to say right now is very difficult. I've pictured crossing the finish line first at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships hundreds of times, but I never imagined what it would actually feel like. It's an unbelievable feeling. I have been a part of four Big Ten Championship teams, and I didn't think anything could compare, but Sunday was a special day, and one I will never forget. Thank you to my coaches, my parents and family, my friends and most importantly my teammates. There is no way I could have done it without every single one of you. Knowing that you all believed in me helped me more than you know. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We toed the line at the Big Ten Championships thinking that anything could happen. We just had to compete. Race the race. We competed and we raced hard. We came up short, but there is no reason we can't all hold our heads high. We were 3rd place in a talented field. We scored 71 points, the same amount of points we scored in 2009 when we won and later placed 14th at the NCAA Championships. Although we didn't win, we accomplished a lot. Kara Millhouse and Emily Gianotti had great races finishing in 7th and 14th, both placing much better than the year before. Juniors Natalie Bower and Brooklyne Ridder rounded out the top-5 finishing in 24th and 25th helping us secure 3rd place. Abbie Benson, Lindsey Graybill, Katie Rodden and Bekka Simko all put together great races in a challenging field. I am so proud of these girls and all that we have accomplished this season.
While we may be upset with the team result of Big Tens, we need to move on. There are bigger and better things still ahead of us. The Mid-Atlantic Regional is next weekend at Maryland Eastern Shore where we will face top ten powerhouses Villanova and Georgetown. We will also face nationally ranked West Virginia who we saw just a few weeks ago and we will try to redeem ourselves against them. We moved up to 22nd in the country and I hope we keep on climbing. The best team I've been on was 14th and I think we have the legs to do that and better.
This week is all about recovery and getting fired up for next weekend. Regionals is so important because it is the deciding factor for getting to NCAA's. We need to give it everything we have because I know that I don't want to be sitting at home when people are lacing up their spikes on Monday, November 20th. This is the real deal. I can hardly sit still in my chair while I type this. The excitement from Sunday and the excitement looking forward to next weekend is overwhelming (making it hard for me to pay attention in class too!). I cannot wait to lace up my bright orange spikes in a little less than two weeks!