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Nov. 1, 2011
CHICAGO, Ill.: Just a few days removed from a convincing victory at the Big Ten Championships, senior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Year, announced by conference offices on Tuesday. Also earning conference recognition were junior Tyler Corkedale (West Windsor, N.J.) and Emily Giannotti(Coudersport, Pa.), who were the Nittany Lion recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Lane battled Wisconsin's Caitlin Comfort for much of the 6,000-meter championship race, before throwing in a surge with 1,000-meters remaining to distance herself from Comfort and win her first-career conference title by nearly 15 seconds. Lane completed the University of Illinois Arboretum course in 19:58 - a career best in cross country.
Lane paced her Nittany Lion squad to a third-place finish in the team standings, and was joined on the all-conference awards stand by classmate Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), who placed seventh, and Giannotti, who placed 14th. The Lions totaled 71 points, trailing only Michigan State with 55, and Michigan with 61.
The Greenwich, N.Y., native is the third Nittany Lion woman to earn top honors at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships, following Kim McGreevy in 1996, and Bridget Franek in 2009. Lane is also the third Penn State harrier to win "Athlete of the Year" status, with McGreevy and Franek also earning the citation.
Corkedale, who was competing in his first race in the Penn State uniform this season, placed 50th overall as the Nittany Lions' fourth finisher, covering the 8,000-meter course in 24:53. Giannotti enjoyed a breakout race for 14th, improving over 30 spots from the 2010 Big Ten Championships. The sportsmanship award is the first career citation for both Nittany Lions.The Nittany Lions, who rank 22nd in the latest United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) rankings, will take this weekend off, before traveling to Princess Anne, Md., for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships on Saturday, November 12.