Corey began competitively swimming at five years old. At the age of ten, he won his first PA State Championship for the Wilkes-Barre YMCA. He would go on to earn four more YMCA state championships as well as set a State and National Record and be invited to the Olympic Training Center USA National Select Camp.
At twelve, Welch began competing in water polo and was invited to the USA Water Polo Youth Development Camp at the Olympic Training Center. He was voted Pennsylvania’s Best Freshman Player helping Wyoming Valley West (WVW) High School win four consecutive team Division Championships and fourth place at the 2000 state championships, earning three All-State and two All-American honors.
Undefeated in individual events at the AAA District 2 swimming championships, Corey was a district champion fifteen times. Welch led WVW to four consecutive District and Wyoming Valley Conference(WVC) team titles, won the WVC’s/District II’s only AAA PIAA State Championships (200IM, 100 Breast), was named 2001 “PIAA Swimmer of the State Meet”, set school records in five events, was voted Outstanding WVC Male Swimmer three times, was All-State four times and All-American three times, making him the first WVW athlete to earn All-American in two sports. Corey was also an Academic All-American.
Welch accepted a scholarship from the University of Florida, where he qualified for the National Championships every season and the Olympic Trials, in 2004. He was an individual National finalist, won the 2004 US Open (400MR, men’s team title), named All-SEC three times, SEC Champion, set the SEC and UF team records (400MR), Division 1 NCAA All-American, 2005 fifth place team at NCAAs, CSCAA Academic All-American, 2005 USA Swimming World Championship Trials finalist, 2008 Olympic Trials qualifier, and earned Gators’ All-Time Top Ten list in the 100 and 200 breast, and 200 and 400 Medley Relays.
Welch was awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and an academic scholarship to pursue his Doctorate in Physical Therapy, concentrating in neurological rehab and presented his research at the International Seating Symposium.
As a Masters swimmer, Welch has earned several All-American honors and National Championships. In 2008, his 200 breaststroke broke the USMS National Record and ranked #1 in the world for 25-29 year olds. In 2011, Welch qualified for his third Olympic Trials and today continues with Masters swimming, water polo, and open water swimming– winning the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse and the Swim Around Key West (relays). Welch volunteers for Thumbs-Up International, which pairs physically challenged athletes with able-bodied athletes and is also involved with the ALS Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association.