Lakeland's Perez Commits To The University of Florida

Angelina Perez, one of the top distance running recruits in the country, announced on Friday morning that has committed to the University of Florida.

The Gators sure are getting a great one!

Perez, who had her top two choices narrowed down to Florida and Wake Forest, is coming off a historic victory at the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park when she won her race in 17:37. That made Perez the only girl in state history to run under 17:40 twice at Holmdel Park. She also ran 17:36 at the Holmdel Invitational last November which ties her for No. 5 in course history.

Perez also owns the course records at Garret Mountain and Darlington Park, and has personal bests times on the track of   

"When I first went to Florida on my official visit, I loved everything about it, everyone on the team and all the coaches,'' Perez told Paul Schwartz of North Everyone was just so welcoming, and I felt this was the place I was supposed to be.''

Perez also told Schwartz that she had her heart on going to warm weather school. 

"I was recruited by a lot of schools in the Northeast but I really wasn't interested in staying up here because of the weather,'' she said. "I was always going to warmer weather.''

Perez said her parents decision to move to Florida was a huge factor in her decision.  

"My parents are going to move to Florida after I graduate,'' said Perez, who will run for Head XC Coach Chris Solinsky at Florida, who once held the U.S. record for 10K and is the first non-African to break 27 minutes in the 10,000 meters. "They asked me if I was willing to look at some schools down there. I felt schools there were more known for sprinters, but when I looked at UF online, I liked it."