March 30, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Two members of the Florida State men's swimming and diving team garnered post-season honors from the ACC as the league office announced the award winners on Thursday. Senior Mateo De Angulo captured the Swimmer of the Year honors as freshman Juan Sequera earned Freshman of the Year.
"I'm proud of both Mateo and Juan," Head Coach Neil Harper said. "They're well-deserved honors for both of them as they performed outstanding at ACC's and NCAA's. To win both awards just speaks volumes for men's team as they performed really well ACC's and great at NCAA's."
A native of Cali, Colombia, De Angulo will leave his mark as a Seminole by performing with one of the best senior seasons in the history of Florida State Swimming and Diving by bring back an award that has been absent in Tallahassee for over a decade. The last men's ACC Swimmer of the Year title was given to Brandon Dedekind back in 1999 for winning the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships.
"It's a big honor," De Angulo said. "I'm really happy and honored that I was chosen. I worked hard all of last year, not just for myself, but for my team." De Angulo was named the ACC Swimmer of the Meet at the ACC championships back on Feb. 25 for earning two gold medals in the 500 and 1650 free in addition to a silver in the 400 IM. With those swims, he was the first swimmer to accomplish the feat since Kyle Young did it back in 2009.
As one of the fastest distance swimmers in the country, De Angulo claimed All-American honors in 1650 free en route to a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships with a time of 14:42.77, setting a new school record. As De Angulo turned at the 1000 yard mark during that swim, he also set another school record with a time of 8:54.28.
"After the 500 the first day, I really wanted to get into the top eight in the mile," De Angulo said. "I knew my strongest event would be the 1650. That's what I trained for the whole year and I went and dropped time, set records and gained All-American honors. It's just amazing and I'm thrilled."
In addition to the 1650, De Angulo earned tenth place at the NCAA meet in the 500 free with a time of 4:16.32. He also competed in the 200 free, posting a time of 1:36.60.
During the season, De Angulo was named Swimmer of the Week by the ACC on Nov. 22, 2011 for his performance at the Georgia Tech Invitational. At the meet, he posted two NCAA automatic qualification times in the 500 free at 4:15.43 and the 1650 free at 14:49.94, while winning those events.
"I knew coming into this season that I was going to have to be a leader," De Angulo said. "I know I've done that and I'm really happy with my senior season."
Sequera earns ACC Freshman of the Year honors as he came into his own very quickly as a Seminole, by being a staple in the IM and breaststroke events.
"I expected to do well at ACC's but I wasn't planning on NCAA's," Sequera added. "Winning two bronze medals at ACC's and get those points for the team it made my year even better."
The Miami, Fla. made his post season debut by qualifying for three championship finals as he took two bronze medals away from the meet in addition to earning All-ACC honors. Sequera was third in both the 400 IM and 200 breast and he finished the 200 IM on the first day of competition in seventh.
Sequera didn't lock in his invite to NCAA's after ACC's as he went on to make his mark on the record books at a Last Chance Meet in Austin, Texas. He posted a FSU record-setting 3:45.83, qualifying him for NCAA's.
"Just the honor is great," Sequera said. "Being named as the top freshman in the ACC just proves that our team has talent and we're one of the best in the conference. It shows that we can compete with the best. By qualifying for NCAA's just shows that the hard work paid off. I know that me and my coach, Gary Taylor are doing everything that we can so I can get better so that in the next three years I can do great things for Florida State."
While at the NCAA Championships with six of his teammates, Sequera swam his best 200 IM time at 1:47.46. As a team, Florida State finished 16th at the meet.
"These awards are a reflection of work the guys put in throughout the year," Harper said. "By getting both of these awards is just a reflection of our team and support we've got all year. The team and the coaching staff did a great job this year as these are very deserving honors."