July 31, 2012
LONDON - U.S. swimmer and UC Davis alumnus Scott Weltz posted a time of two minutes, 9.67 seconds to finish third in his heat and seventh overall during Tuesday's preliminary heats of the men's 200-meter breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics. He advances to the semifinal round, which starts at 12:20 p.m. PDT on Tuesday.
Hungary's Daniel Gyurta and Great Britain's Michael Jamieson, each of whom competed in the third heat along with Weltz, claimed the top two times at 2:08.71 and 2:08.98, respectively. Weltz, in the fifth lane of that heat, posted a 50-meter split of 29:92 and a 100-meter time of 1:03.68 to run seventh in the eight-man race. However, as he had done in the Olympic Trials, he enjoyed a strong second half. Weltz covered the third 50 in 32.81 to move into fourth place, then swam the final stretch in 33.18 to pass New Zealand's Glenn Sanders for third.
In fact, Weltz' 65.99 total in the second 100 was the fastest finish of any swimmer in Tuesday morning's field. Gyurta went 66.30 in the latter half of his race, while Jamieson went 66.56 over the same span. Meet favorite Kosuke Kitajima, who touched in second place in the fifth heat behind Britain's Andrew Willis, took more than 67 seconds to swim the final 100 of his race.
Weltz twice earned Big West Conference Swimmer of the Year and was co-winner of the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award as UC Davis' outstanding male athlete of year in 2010. Four years after finishing 38th in the 200 breast at the 2008 Olympic Trials, he upset Brendan Hansen and Eric Shanteau at the 2012 Trials in Omaha last June to qualify for London.
With a 2:09.01 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, the Aggie alumnus entered the Olympic Games with the sixth-fastest entering mark. Kitajima owned the fastest seed time with a 2:08.00, while countryman Ryo Tateishi was second at 2:08.17.
Weltz is one of two Aggie alumni competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Kim Conley will race in the women's 5,000 first round on Day 11.