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.
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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.