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 are now 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.
Evans Tanui took 10th with a time of 27:01.1, while Cory Cown took 13th overall with his time of 27:14.8.
Had Shorter been eligible to compete for the team title, the Hawks would have run away with the crown. While point totals were not assessed to Shorter's athletes, the men would have totaled 26 points, which would have put the Hawks well ahead of official champion Alabama-Huntsville. UAH officially claimed its second straight men's 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.
They may have let one slip away in Carrollton, but the Shorter women's soccer team wasn't about to let history repeat itself in Rome.
And in the one of two matchups with West Georgia that counted in the Gulf South Conference standings, the Lady Hawks left no doubt.
Brandi Greenwald and Helena Farinha scored a pair of goals 1:17 apart late in the second half as Shorter posted an impressive 2-0 shutout of its GSC rival on Saturday afternoon at Ben Brady Field.
The win improves Shorter's record to 4-10-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the Gulf South Conference while West Georgia falls to 5-7-3 overall and 2-3-2 in the league. The win leapfrogs the Lady Hawks ahead of West Georgia for sixth in the conference standings.
Aline Bez Tamiosso assisted on both goals for Shorter, who outshot West Georgia 19-11 for the game -- 12-6 in a second half that saw the Lady Hawks wear down the visitors and finally notch a pair of late strikes after seeing several golden opportunities go astray throughout the match.
After a scoreless first half that saw Shorter hold a 7-5 edge in shots, the Lady Hawks began to find gaps in West Georgia's defense in the second frame.
Greenwald finally broke the scoreless tie in the 83rd minute, as Tamiosso played her in down the right of the penalty area, allowing Shorter's leading scorer to fire a rising shot past West Georgia keeper Mary Laza for a 1-0 Shorter lead. The goal was Greenwald's ninth of the year -- one off her career high of 10 set last season -- and would end up being her third game winning goal of the season.
Shorter wasted no time getting a bit of insurance as moments later, in the 84th minute, Tamiosso found herself in the middle of another scoring play, this time finding Farinha making a run down the left side of the box.
Farinha touched the ball past a West Georgia defender and snuck her shot past Laza to the far post to put the Lady Hawks up 2-0 and cap the scoring.
Shorter, which dropped a 2-1 decision to West Georgia back on October 5 in a match that counted as a non-conference game, won for the second time in three matches after ending a five game winless streak last Sunday with a 3-1 upset of then No. 14-ranked North Alabama. The Lady Hawks have outscored their opponents 5-1 in those two victories and now find themselves ahead of West Georgia, Union, Delta State and Christian Brothers in the league standings.
Katie Stachula posted her second career shutout with the help of five saves. Greenwald led Shorter with six shots -- three on target -- while Tamiosso added five attempts and Farinha three to power Shorter offensively.
Shorter returns to action on Monday, October 22 when it plays host to Valdosta State at Ben Brady Field in a 2 pm kick-off.