NORWALK – Many athletes talk the talk when it comes to matters of faith, but often fewer walk the walk.
Norwalk native Christian Perez is an anomaly; he not only walks it -- he runs it.
Last year, the 19-year-old sophomore earned a scholarship to Biola University for his accomplishments as a cross country runner at Norwalk High School.
Perez graduated from Norwalk High School in 2015, where he competed in cross country, played soccer, and ran track for the Lancers. He quit soccer so he could really focus on cross country running.
Perez credits his family for igniting his love for the sport and thanks them for the support he needed to get to where he is today. He realizes what a blessing it is have that capability and gives all the praise to God.
His three older siblings all ran cross country. He followed in his older brother Eddie Perez’s footprints, who also had the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level.
The private Christian institution has an annual tuition of more than $36,000, so the scholarship was a great blessing but Perez believes that it was God’s will for him to get an education at Biola.
“I would like to give credit and thanks to God since he gave everything in my journey I have today at Biola,” says Perez.
His deep devotion to God, along with his endless love for running and caring spirit has Perez geared toward a career in sports medicine with his Kinesiology degree.
Perez hopes to travel the world and improve the quality of life of the underprivileged youth of the world both spiritually and physically by spreading the love of the Lord and running.
He was part of the team that set the school team record of (1:18:13). Perez was honored with Norwalk High School’s Most Valuable Runner twice, in addition to, Most Inspirational and Rookie-of-the-Year.
Perez led the Lancers to three league championships including twice as a team captain and looks to continue his winning ways at the next level in his second year at Biola University.
When he is not training or studying for his 14 units worth of classes, he is hanging out with his roommates who are also on the cross country team.
“I want run to the best of my ability and hopefully run faster than my PR last year of 25:40 and place higher in conference, hopefully in the top 10 since I finished 15th last year. I want to finish my season strong and great at nationals,” says Perez.
“My goals for this season above all is to glorify God,” says Perez. “To always give my best for my teammates and coach.”
Next year, Biola University will be moving up to the NCAA Division II when they join the Pacific West Conference.
“This season is a very important season for the team. It's our last year in the NAIA and GSAC conference since we will begin our transition to NCAA division 2 and PAC west conference,” says Perez.