Louisville Keeps Kentucky HS Champion Ella Welch In-State for 2022

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Ella Welch, who was named to the ‘Ones to Watch’ list on SwimSwam’s HS Class of 2022 rankings, is staying close to home with a verbal commitment to Louisville.

Welch trains with Cardinal Aquatics, where Amy Albiero is the head coach; her husband Arthur Albiero is the head coach at Louisville and is a volunteer assistant at Cardinal Aquatics. Their children, Nicolas Albiero and Gabi Albiero, are both Cardinal Aquatics alums and both are on Louisville’s roster this season.

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! #yeehaw


  • 50 free – 22.73
  • 100 free – 49.58
  • 200 free – 1:50.11
  • 500 free – 4:59.98
  • 100 back – 56.75
  • 100 breast – 1:02.73
  • 200 breast – 2:17.27
  • 100 fly – 54.48
  • 200 fly – 2:02.66
  • 200 IM – 2:01.58
  • 400 IM – 4:20.83

Welch is strongest as a sprint freestyler, but she’s incredibly versatile and brings secondary speed in breaststroke, fly and IM. In long course meters, she holds a lifetime best and Olympic Trials cut of 56.22 in the 100 free from the 2020 Pro Swim Series stop in Des Moines just before the pandemic shutdown. Her 100 fly best in LCM is a 1:00.71, just .02 off of the OT cut.

At the Kentucky HS State Championships, Welch is undefeated in the 100 free, having gone 49.94 to win the 2019 title and 49.58 to win the 2020 title. That 49.58 set the Kentucky HS state meet record. She was second only to Gabi Albiero in the 50 free at both meets. Racing with Assumption High School, Welch split a 28.48 on the breast leg of their fourth-place medley relay and anchored their 400 free relay in a 49.25.

At the 2019 U.S. Open last December, Welch made D-finals in the 100 free and 100 fly. Later that month, at the 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East, Welch finished fifth in the 50 free (22.73) and made finals in the 100 free and 100 fly.

Louisville is in rebuilding mode after just graduating top sprinters Casey Fanz and Lainey Visscher along with top butterflier Grace Oglesby. Welch would’ve been #5 on the Cardinals’ roster last season in the 100 free and #6 in the 50. At the 2020 ACC Championships, she would’ve made C-finals in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 breast.

Welch will join #6 Rye Ulett, Paige Kuwata, diver Jiselle Miller and Jordan Durocher in the Louisville class of 2026.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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