Aug. 1, 2012
LONDON, England - UC Davis alumnus and current volunteer coach Scott Weltz turned in a time of 2 minutes, 9.02 seconds to finish fifth in the final of the men's 200-meter breaststroke on Wednesday in his final race of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hungary's Daniel Gyurta claimed the gold medal, setting a world record in the process with his time of 2:07.28. He led a star-studded field that included silver medalist Michael Jamieson of Great Britain, who posted the top time in Tuesday's semifinal, and Japan's Ryo Tateishi, who won the bronze medal in a time of 2:08.29.
Two-time gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima, who was outtouched by Weltz in the second semifinal heat on Tuesday, came in fourth, clocking in at 2:08.35. Weltz's Team USA teammate Clark Burkle was sixth (2:09.25) while Australia's Brenton Rickard and Great Britain's Andrew Willis finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Swimming in lane six, Weltz found himself in eighth place at the end of 150 meters, turning in a split time of 29.65 in the first 50 in an incredibly fast field. Yet, as fans and supporters watched him do in the Olympic Trials and throughout the London Olympics, he surged in the final 50 meters to move up three spots and claim fifth place with a final split time of 33.16.
The 2010 alum burst onto the international scene after upsetting Brendan Hansen and Eric Shanteau in the 200 breast at the Olympic Trials last June in Omaha, Neb. to qualify for London. He won the event in a time of 2:09.01 to enter the Olympic Games with the sixth-fastest qualifying mark.
He finished third in his heat and seventh overall in the event preliminaries on July 31, touching the wall in a time of 2:09.67, before advancing to the finals with a semifinal time of 2:08.99 later that evening. It was a personal best mark for Weltz who was third in his heat and fourth overall.
Just four years ago, Weltz finished 38th in the 200 breast at the 2008 Olympic Trials.
During his Aggie career, he was twice named the Big West Conference Swimmer of the Year and was the 2010 co-winner of the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award as UC Davis' outstanding male athlete of the year.
Weltz is one of two Aggie alumni competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Kim Conley, who enjoyed a standout cross country and track and field career and is also a current volunteer assistant coach, will race in the women's 5,000 first round on Aug. 7.