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Central Florida runner sprints for close finish

Clermont's David Picciano runs down John Reback of North Palm Beach in the last mile.

By JESSICA FISH

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 10, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- David Picciano has been at the top of his game in this post-Olympic season, with more short-course wins than any of Florida's other "elite males".

And Picciano, 35, said he was glad he drove from Clermont to compete at the Pier on Sunday, despite overcast skies, after he won the St. Petersburg Triathlon (swim .5 mile, bike 15 miles, run 3 miles) in 1 hour 3 minutes 39 seconds.

The 6-foot-3 Picciano is one of a family of talented triplets, and some mistook him at Sunday's sprint triathlon finish for one of his look-alike brothers, Bill or Patrick, who typically finish just behind him.

Bill Picciano, who followed St. Petersburg's Danny Nolan onto the 5-kilometer run, finished just after the race leaders in 1:08:28.

Kasey Carroll-Basso, a physician from Bradenton who trains with the St. Pete Masters at North Shore Pool, led the women's field out of the choppy Tampa Bay half-mile swim, never looking back, winning in 1:13:12. Carroll-Basso, 32, placed third overall in April's St. Anthony's Triathlon and has distinguished herself as top Florida woman.

Kristin Linton, 30, of Royal Palm Beach was second in 1:17:13. Finishing just behind Nolan, among the top locals, was Dave Rowland, 39, a dentist from North Redington Beach who won his age group in 1:10:25.

"My next season's focus will be a new race, Ironman Utah," Rowland said. "I will age up to the masters division when I turn 40 next May. Maybe I can get to Kona again, I may qualify for Ironman Hawaii at the Ironman Utah event."

Fast-track athletes "run" in the Picciano family, and CFT/Sommer Sports' colorful finishing chute resembled a reunion after Picciano ran down John Reback of North Palm Beach in the last mile.

"If anyone can give the Picciano brothers a run for their money, it's John Reback, brother of Olympic triathlete Laura Reback!" race announcer Robb Beams shouted to the crowd on the pier.

But Picciano's speed had him gaining on Reback by the run turnaround on Beach Drive, and he passed him with a quick wave.

"I know that I was predicted to win," Picciano said. "But predicting is not everything. We race every weekend. I was on, and he may have been a little off today. I'm always confident on the run though. It was windy on the bike, down toward Pinellas Point Drive, but like every race you just try to do what you can."

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