USC Beaufort’s Betsy Douglas just missed breaking her own school record at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, nonetheless earning her second All-America designation after placing fourth at Elsah, Ill.
Douglas used a finishing kick at the North Farm 5K course to cross the finish line in 17 minutes, 21 seconds — three seconds off the school record she set at last month’s Sand Shark Invitational. Her time was 57 seconds behind winner Aminat Olowora of Oklahoma City.
“What can you say about Betsy? USCB coach Larry Kimball said. “She did awesome. She was running ninth with a kilometer to go, and she turned it on. the last 250 meters, she was in full flight and reeling in third.”
Douglas, who placed eighth a year ago, finished 7.32 seconds behind Southern Oregon’s Jessa Perkinson for third. The senior finishes her cross country career with the seven fastest times in Sand Sharks history, with three coming in the past month.
Nic O’Heill also ran his final cross country race as a Sand Shark, completing the 8K course in 27:02 to place 238th among the 331 runners in the field.
“Nic ran a great race,” Kimball said. “He keyed on the SCAD (Savannah) guys he has been running with all season, and he beat most of them.”
Saturday also marked the final meet for Kimball as head coach, having announced his retirement earlier this month after a decade of helping to establish USCB’s athletic department and start both the cross country and track programs.