2012 U.S. Olympic Trials/National Champion – 200 breaststroke
5th place finisher at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – 200 breaststroke
2009 & 2010 Big West Conference Male Athlete of the Year
Two-time NCAA All-American
When Scott Weltz finished first in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:09:01 at the 2012 Olympic Trials, he turned heads and shocked the swimming community. His coach, Pete Motekaitis, was not – he was confident the swimmer could pace a 2:09 finish. Want to be confident in your training and racing to accomplish your goals? Attend a Fitter and Faster Clinic with Scott to learn how!
Most U.S. Olympians have some international experience going into the Games. Others, like Katie Ledecky, do not but are still not total shocks. Weltz, however, was a true dark horse by racing against swimmers like Eric Shanteau and Brendan Hansen–Olympic champions and World Record holders–to claim his spot.
“By looking at the race this way (shooting for a 2:09), we just controlled what I could do and kind of took everyone else out of the equation. This helped me stay a lot calmer in the 200m breast than in the 100m, where I kind of psyched myself out in finals.” Weltz finished 4th in the 100 breaststroke final earlier in the meet.
The London Olympics was not only Scott’s first USA Swimming travel experience, but the self-professed rookie’s first international meet. “The experience was so pure for me … every part of it was exciting,” he says. “From having a team to be apart of … to getting to practice with the best swimmers in the world — every part of the trip was exciting.” It was that doe-eyed optimism that really made the Olympics so special for Weltz.
“I think that if I had been on past trips, just the London part would have been unique, but since I hadn’t, each and every part was exciting for me. (Fellow Olympian) Jessica Hardy still jokes about me because I had saved up and brought food money with me because I thought that I would have to provide my own food while on the trip. I did not know that everything was provided. That shows just how much of a rookie I was.”
But even going from a relatively unknown to an overnight breaststroking sensation and United States National Champion, Weltz says not a lot changed for him.
“Swimming at the Olympics was such a personal accomplishment. I will be able to hold on to that forever, but it is nice that it did not totally change my life,” says. “After London, I was still on an Olympic high, but my life pretty much returned to normal. I was still surrounded by the same people as before and the same coach and close friends. So to them I was still the same Scott Weltz. And I am glad about that. It really helps to keep me grounded.”
Following London, he returned to coach Pete Motekaitis, who had trained him exclusively for the two years prior to the games. Weltz credits his decision to train largely alone with Motekaitis, rather than join one of the big post-graduate training centers, that made the difference for him.
“I am very glad it happened this way,” Weltz said. “I have a personal coach that believed in me and was going to do everything he could to wring every ounce of talent and hard work out of me that he could. I think he probably worked harder than I did, and having that personal coach relationship really helped.”
Weltz approaches every workout, every meet, and every race with the same senses that took him to the top of the swimming world in the summer of 2012. He doesn’t expect success to be given to him: he expects to have to take it himself. Even when he has earned his spot among the country’s great swimmers, he still doesn’t expect anything to be handed to him (including food in the Olympic village).
It is this sense of pure determination and humility that he brings to every one of his Fitter and Faster clinics.