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Sunday February 27, 2011 Former Gator Criscione wins Gasparilla Distance Classic

Former UF runner Jeremy Criscione is back on track after an injury plagued stretch since finishing his Gators career a year ago.

Criscione won the Publix Super Markets Gasparilla Distance Classic on Saturday in Tampa, completing the 15-kilometer course in 46 minutes, 22 seconds.

Criscione knows he’ll have to improve on that time to qualify for the Olympic Trials – his next goal – but winning a race after a series of injuries and drop in confidence boosted his spirits Saturday.

“The post-collegiate stuff is still kind of new to me, and I just want to see how things go this year,’’ Criscione told reporters afterward. “Unfortunately, I’ve had some injuries and sometimes get bummed out about that. But for now, I’m going to keep trying to run and get better.’’

Since leaving UF, Criscione has moved to Bartow and recently joined the newly formed Hansons-Brooks South Team, directed by former Webber College coach Rick Moody.

Criscione won $2,000 for his victory on Saturday.

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