by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)
Created June 29th, 2012 05:18:37 PM
Modified June 29th, 2012 05:18:37 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A tarnished dream became a reality earlier today as Mateo De Angulo was selected to represent Colombia in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The invitation was extended to De Angulo after originally wasn’t chosen to compete.
“I’m extremely happy,” De Angulo said. “I lost hope and my mind was set on vacation mode, but it’s crazy how things turn out. It’s honestly a dream come true. I am honored to be heading to London and I can’t wait to represent my country in the best way that I can.”
The Cali, Colombia native is scheduled to swim the 400 meter free at the games. De Angulo is the current Colombian national record holder in the event with a time of 3:53.66. In addition, he also holds the records for the 800 meter free with a 8:05.98 and the 1500 meter free at 15:29.06, a mark which he set just this past May.
De Angulo becomes a Florida State Olympian since four Seminoles went to Athens in Chris Vythoulkas, Wickus Neinaber, Golda Marcus, Julio Santos and Bronze medalist Stephen Parry. Current FSU diver Ariel Rittenhouse competed in the 2008 Games in Beijing, however she was tied to Southern California.
As a Seminole, De Angulo earned the ACC Swimmer of the Year and ACC Swimmer of the Meet honors in 2012. He ended his collegiate career with an All-American seventh place finish in the 1650 free with a new school records in the distance at 14:42.77 as well as the 1000 mark with a time of 8:54.28.
“We’re excited for him,” head coach Neil Harper said. “I’ve watched him train so hard and set high goals for himself and he deserves it. Its every kid’s dream to go to the Olympics and represent your country and compete against the world’s elite. This tremendous opportunity, it’s like nothing else. For me as both an athlete and a coach at the Olympics, it’s something that with you forever and it’s amazing that this happened to such a great guy and team leader. He’s a guy that’s earned it.”
Friedel Earns Semifinal Berth
Josh Friedel finished 15th in the prelims of the men’s 200 back this morning with a career best time of 2:00.99 at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. He will swim in the first semifinal heat in lane one.
With that performance, Friedel becomes the second Seminole to earn a top-16 finish at the Olympic Trials. Kyle Young placed fifth in the 1500 free back in 2008.
“He’s been very confident and he’s starting to feel really good,” Harper said. “This morning, his execution was good, he went out in a good pace and he got into a position where he pulled away and finished the race by himself, achieving a best time by two seconds. He knew that’s what it was going to take to get a second swim. I think he’s elevated himself. This is the fastest meet in the world and it’s just good for him and it shows that an elite swimmer can come to Florida State and get it done.”
Coverage from Olympic Trials will begin tonight on NBC at 8 p.m.