March 25, 2012
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Florida State completed the NCAA Championships in Federal Way, Wash. at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center last night, as they put together two seventh place finishes en route to an overall 16th place team finish.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve finished that well at NCAA’s,” Head Coach Neil Harper said. “Anytime you can be top 16 in the country or sweet 16 rather, it’s awesome.”
The 16th place team finish is the highest in Harper’s career. The previous best was in 2007 when the team took 17th.
Senior Mateo De Angulo put together a record-setting performance for his last collegiate swim, as he broke the school record in the 1650 free with a time of 14:42.77 while touching in seventh place. The Cali, Colombia native earned an All-American status.
“Mateo toughed it out last night,” Harper said. “He ended his career on a high note last night with that performance and he’s had an awesome year for us.”
The 400 free relay team of sophomore Paul Murray, juniors Trice Bailey, David Sander and Mark Weber qualified in seventh place for finals with a time of 2:53.34. However, Harper and Associate Head Coach Andy Robins decided to pull the four out of the individual 100 free event earlier in the session.
“We made a gamble with pulling the guys in the morning,” Harper said. “But we knew that we had a great shot to be in the top eight and if the guys would have swum their individuals, then we probably would have just made consoles. It’s different from ACC’s, where this event is only a timed final. At the NCAA level, you have to put it together for prelims and finals and race against the cream of the crop in the country.”
The team finished out the meet by taking seventh place with a time of 2:54.81, claiming an All-American honors.
That swim for the Seminoles was the best since 1998 when the team of Matt McVittie, Julio Santos, Brendon Dedekind and Stephen Parry also placed seventh.
“I think individually and as a team, we made the most of our opportunities,” Harper said. “I’m extremely proud of the guys and what we’ve accomplished this season and at this level.”
In prelims, freshman Juan Sequera finished his season by swimming the 200 breast, posting a 2:00.74.
Sophomore Tom Neubacher dove his final event of the season by placing 21st in the platform with a score of 311.65.
Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are finished for the 2011-2012 season. Stay tuned for more information on the teams in the offseason by checking back to Seminoles.com and Twitter (FSU_Swimming) for updates.