HOOVER, Ala. -- Over the past several years, the Shorter University cross country programs proved themselves as the best in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The Hawks and Lady Hawks may be competing under a new classification as an emerging NCAA Division II and Gulf South Conference member, but it appears to be the same old story for Shorter's harriers.
Shorter's Daniel Sorenson and Shea Spicher raced to first place individual finishes to lead two tremendous team efforts by the Hawks and Lady Hawks at the 2012 Gulf South Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning in Hoover, Ala.
Shorter's men placed four runners in the top 13 of the 64-athlete event, including the top two finishers in the meet. Spicher headlined two Lady Hawks that finished in the top 14, helping Shorter flex its long distance muscle at the first GSC championship event of the 2012-13 academic year.
As a term of its Candidacy Year 2 status with the NCAA, the Gulf South Conference will not recognize Shorter for championships in 2012-13. That didn't take away from the show that Shorter put on in Hoover.
Sorenson paced the men's field at Veterans Park with a time of 25:48.9 in the 8k event, putting him 14 seconds ahead of teammate Carlos Perez, who placed second at the event in a time of 26:02.4.
Alabama-Huntsville officially claimed its second straight men's team cross country championship.
On the women's side, Spicher posted a time of 19:26.6 on the 5k course, which placed her 18 seconds ahead of Alabama-Huntsville's Vicky Winslow. Ashley Logan came in 14th overall (20:47.70) and Hannah Turner completed the course in 21st (21:03.20).
Katie Rutledge (21:31.1) and Rachel McDaniel (21:47.7) finished the meet in 34th and 40th, respectively, for the Lady Hawks to round out Shorter's top five finishers.
West Florida was crowned team champion for the women for the second consecutive season.