Kentucky State Record Holder Ella Welch Stays Local, Pledges 2022 Verbal to Louisville

Ella Welch louisville
Photo Courtesy: Ella Welch (@ellawwelch)

NEW COMMIT: Olympic Trials qualifier Ella Welch of Louisville, Ky. has decided to stay with the hometown team for her college career after verbally committing to the University of Louisville for the fall of 2022.

She will join Paige Kuwata, Jordan Durocher and U.S. National Junior Teamer Rye Ulett as well as diver Jiselle Miller as a member of what is shaping up to be a very impressive Class of 2026 for the Cardinals.

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I am so humbled and excited to announce my commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at the University of Louisville! I am beyond thankful for all the love and support from my family, friends, and coaches. I can’t wait to be part of such an amazing program! GO CARDS!”

No stranger to UofL’s program, Welch does her club swimming with Cardinal Aquatics and owns several U.S. Open cuts with the Olympic Trials standard in the 100m free. She last competed at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines where she punched her ticket to Omaha with a 25th-place showing in the 100m free.

She also finished fifth in the 50 free and 10th in the 100 free at Juniors East in December after finaling in two events at the Toyota U.S. Open.

In summer 2019, Welch collected three gold medals at the Kentucky 13&O LCM Championships before going on to grab silver in the 50m/100m fly as well as bronze in the 100m free at NCSAs.

Her best times include:

  • 50 free – 22.73
  • 100 free – 49.58
  • 100 breast – 1:02.73
  • 200 breast – 2:17.27
  • 200 IM – 2:01.58
  • 400 IM – 4:20.83
  • 100 fly – 54.48
  • 200 fly – 2:02.66

Currently a junior at Assumption High School, Welch is already a four-time individual Kentucky State Championship finalist. She won the 100 free and was the runner-up in the 50 free during both her freshman and sophomore seasons. In both years, she finished second in the 50 free to future college – and former club – teammate Gabi Albiero.

Her time of 49.58 in the 100 free in 2020 was fast enough for a new Kentucky state record. She has also earned USA Swimming Scholastic All-American honors for her efforts in the pool and in the classroom.

Welch will make a big impact when she suits up for the Cards at the start of the 2022-23 season as she is just shy of making the B-final in the 50/100 free and 100 breast at the 2020 ACC Championships. Under head coach Arthur Albiero, the Cardinals finished third at last year’s conference meet.

History was made in 2019 for the Cardinals as they became the first ACC program in history to have both its men’s and women’s teams finish among the top-five in the team standings at the NCAA Championships in the same year. Highlighted by a pair of national titles for Mallory Comerford, the women’s team recorded their highest finish in program history with a fourth-place showing at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Their score of 235 points was the most points scored by a Cardinal team at NCAAs in history, and Louisville secured third place at the 2019 ACC Championships.

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