Greenwich standout commits to Nittany Lions
By Christopher Hunt
She said she knew as soon as she left the campus. It was one of those situations when you just know.
Greenwich senior Caitlin Lane could picture herself there, soaking the aura of a football Saturday, or in working out in a gym outside of anything she’s ever seen before. As big as the campus was, she only got lost in the possibilities of what she could accomplish there. So last week, Lane made an oral commitment to compete at Penn State in the fall.
“When I came back from my visit, I just knew I wanted to go there,” Lane said. “I wanted to wait though. I knew I had to give Syracuse a chance.”
Lane, who finished second in her season debut in the mile at the Bishop Loughlin Games Saturday in 5:01.33, said he had been impressed with the program and the coaches at Syracuse but didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the atmosphere at Penn State and rush to a decision. It was enough that she stood on the field during Penn State’s game against Notre Dame with passing whizzing by her head and shoulder pads crushing only feet away in front of a crowd of 115,000 all wearing white.
“The campus is just gorgeous,” she said. “I met a lot of the girls on the team and they were great. We all got along really well. It was just everything. You know, when everything just clicks.”
Penn State was fourth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional championships last year and was in the mix for an at-large bid to the nationals. Lane was being also being courted by Syracuse and Providence but the decision came down to Penn State and Syracuse.
“It was incredibly hard,” Lane said. “When I called Syracuse to tell them I wasn’t coming, I actually started crying. I absolutely love the coaches at Syracuse. They think that I would really contribute to the team and that is always great to hear.”
Lane, who transferred from Saratoga Springs to Greenwich as a sophomore, said she’s eager to resume the competitive training atmosphere that she hasn’t seen since being at Saratoga or when she trained with former Saratoga star Nicole Blood, now a sophomore at Oregon and three-time U.S. junior champion.
At Penn State, Lane attended a hypnotist show. Even one of the Penn State runners participated. Lane said they had imaginary ice cream eating contests but promised that no one hypnotized her. She had her mind made up almost as soon as she got on campus.
“I was kind of just like, wow, I would love to go here,” she said. “When I left, I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Steve Patrick, Caitlin Lane, and her Mom Dena Lane