AVON PARK - The Warner University track and field team likes to think of themselves as one big family. That family tie added another knot on Monday, when Avon Park track and field standout Angelina Ligon signed a letter of participation to compete for the Royals next year, joining her older sister Angelique, who has been on the Warner team the past two years.
"I'm glad that Angelina wanted to come with us," said Warner coach Emperatriz Gonzalez-Henao. "When I was recruiting Angelina I saw her running at Frostproof a couple of meets and we're thrilled to have the two of them."
Angelina had a solid season for the Red Devils, helping the Avon Park 4 X 100 meter relay team advance to regionals, but is versatile enough to compete in several different events, which was another attraction for the Royals.
"I'm really excited to work with Angelina next season because she's running the hurdles and two years ago she did high jump," Gonzalez-Henao said. "She can do a lot as part of the team and will help us in a lot of events."
Although Angelina can fill in pretty much anywhere, she's partial to one event.
"My favorite event is the 100 hurdles," she said. "I ran on the 4X 100 relay team and ran on the 4-X 400 relay team once."
Angelina placed fifth in districts in the 100 hurdles.
Angelina plans to major in social work and Gonzalez-Henao said it's nice to know that she won't have to worry about grades or any of the other pitfalls that can befall new college athletes.
"I think the family has done an excellent job with these young ladies," she said. "They're working hard on grades and hard in practice."
The two sisters plan to room together and Angelina said it will be nice to be reunited with her older sibling, who can also help out while she learns a few of the ropes of college life.
Gonzalez-Henao and Angelique are in Marion, Ind., as the Royals' 4 X 100 relay team qualified for nationals and broke the school record four times.
The Royals have been consistently strong in track and field-placing second in the conference meet four straight years-and lose just two seniors to graduation, so next year's team should be another pretty strong group of athletes.
"I am so happy to be going to Warner," Angelina said. "I can't wait to go."
Angelina said she was appreciative of all those who helped and supported her.
"I want to thank my mom, thank God and thank everybody," she said. "I'm really excited."