The University of South Carolina Beaufort cross country team's season came to a close Saturday, as sophomores Anthony Vecchio and Melissa Carder competed in the NAIA National Championships at Fort Vancouver Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash.
Vecchio, a Bluffton High School graduate, completed the 8-kilometer men's race in 27 minutes, 3 seconds -- the fastest time ever posted by a USCB runner at nationals -- to finish 204th out of the 309 runners who completed the race.
Carder, from New Windsor, N.Y., finished the 5-kilometer women's race in 20:23 -- the highest finish ever for a USCB female at nationals.
Both Vecchio and Carder were first-time qualifiers for the national championships, but coach Larry Kimball expects them to return when the event moves to Lawrence, Kan., next year.
St. Francis (Ill.) won the men's team title and John Gilbertson of The Master's (Calif.) won the individual title in 23:56. British Columbia won the women's crown with Hillary Holt of College of Idaho taking the individual title in 17:00.