U.S. Olympic Trials: Clark Burckle, Scott Weltz Light Up Heat, Lead 1-2 in 200 Breast

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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 28. WHILE some of the bigger names looked to be cruising into semifinals, Clark Burckle and Scott Weltz were throwing down an epic race in the initial of the circle-seeded heats in the men's 200 breast at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Burckle held off Weltz, 2:10.30 to 2:10.90, at the wall in heat 12 of 14 as the two earned the top two seeds. Burckle has been faster with a 2:09.72 to his credit, but Marin Pirate Weltz smashed his previous best of 2:12.37. The two both swam in the 100 breast finale, with Weltz taking fourth and Burckle earning seventh.

Eric Shanteau, who placed second to Scott Spann in the 2008 edition to earn an Olympic bid, cruised with a 2:11.57 for the third seed, while Elliott Keefer edged Brendan Hansen, 2:11.90 to 2:12.14, in the final qualifying heat. Hansen, who already threepeated the men's 100 breast earlier in the week, is looking to reclaim his 2004 title in the event.

Trevor Hoyt (2:12.65), Matt Elliott (2:12.67) and Kevin Cordes (2:12.72) rounded out the top eight, while IU's Cody Miller overcame a suit malfunction before his race to make semis with a 12th-seeded time of 2:13.61. Additionally, GPAC's Brendan McHugh had one of the biggest jumps up the psych sheet with a sterling 2:13.87 to finish 16th out of heat 4 of 14. Notably, Ed Moses missed the Olympic team in his comeback bid with an 18th-place 2:14.32, while Mike Alexandrov wound up 21st with a 2:14.78. Steve West, the oldest male competitor at the Trials at 40, placed 62nd with a 2:19.47.

The Semifinalists:
Clark Burckle — 2:10.30
Scott Weltz — 2:10.90 (lifetime best)
Eric Shanteau — 2:11.57
Elliott Keefer — 2:11.90 (lifetime best)
Brendan Hansen — 2:12.14
Trevor Hoyt — 2:12.65 (lifetime best)
Matt Elliott — 2:12.67 (lifetime best)
Kevin Cordes — 2:12.72 (lifetime best)
Josh Prenot — 2:13.00 (lifetime best)
BJ Johnson — 2:13.02 (lifetime best)
Adam Klein — 2:13.07
Jack Brown — 2:13.61
Cody Miller — 2:13.61 (lifetime best)
Eric Friedland — 2:13.81
Sean Mahoney — 2:13.86
Brendan McHugh — 2:13.87 (lifetime best)