Criscione wins 3,200m crown

Published: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 3:08 a.m.
CORAL SPRINGS- Interlachen's Jeremy Criscione has had a stellar high school career that has earned him recognition as one of the state's top distance runners since the turn of the century.
But until this, his senior year, there was one thing missing: a state title.
After Saturday night's Class 2A FHSAA finals at Coral Springs High School, he has two.
The winner at the state cross country meet after previous finishes of 22nd and sixth, Criscione followed that up with a 3,200-meter track championship, outkicking Tampa Jesuit's Andrew Biladeau to run a 9:14.75 to Biladeau's 9:16.17.
"I felt pretty good," said Criscione, a Florida signee who previously placed ninth, fourth and second at state. "The conditions were tough, but it was a good race, and Andy really pushed me out there."
Criscione said he hoped to beat the state meet record of 8:59.03 set by Delray Beach Atlantic's Sean Jefferson in 2001, but said strong winds combined with the fact he led practically every step of the eight-lap race and therefore had to pace much of it himself, made that task difficult.
"It would have been easier to do if those things had happened," Criscione said. "It also might have just not been our day. But I am really happy I got the win."
No local teams contended for state championships, but several individuals fared well.
Competing about 45 minutes north of where he will play college football, Suwannee senior/Miami signee Bruce Johnson finished second in the 110 hurdles (14.42), fourth in the long jump (22-08) and ninth in the 200 (22.73). Bradford's Letroy Guion earned fifth place in the discus with a throw of 143-09, and Union County's Francis Highland finished 14th (114-08).
Union County junior C.J. Spiller finished sixth in the 100 (10.88), barely edging two athletes that rate right near him among the state's Class of 2006 running back prospects, Riverdale's Chevon Walker (a UF commitment) and Madison County's Desmond Gee.

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