Brian Corey uses swimming to make the Army a reality

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Little did Brian Corey know that when his friends urged him to join the swim team last year it would change his life.

A Moffat County High School senior, Corey has metamorphosed physically and mentally during the 15-month span of his past two seasons as a Bulldog swimmer.

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Entering his junior year, he weighed 272 pounds and was unable to complete a 25-meter lap without stopping.

Dedication and a commitment to physical fitness has allowed him to not only finish a lap, but drop time in his events as well as his weight, which today is 187 pounds.

"It's given him a new breadth on life," said Tom Penner, Corey's guardian. Plus it has given him a more positive outlook on life in general.

"He's not the world's fastest or the world's greatest, but without swimming, he may be 300 pounds and not going into the Army," Penner said. "He's a great kid with a great attitude and just seeing him swim puts a smile on my face."

MCHS teammates Donny Penner and Trenton Taylor talked their fellow senior into joining the team last year, and Corey took it as a challenge.

"I thought swimming should be easy," he said. "It was anything but easy. At that point, I wasn't even thinking about my weight."

The results from his junior year to this year current tapering are proof of his success.

He has gone from 3 minutes, 16 seconds in the 200 free to a current best of 2:36.

In the 50 free, Corey has gone from 48 seconds -- "which was incredibly slow"-- to 28 seconds.

He has dedicated himself to running every day and weight lifting not only to better himself in the pool but to prepare himself for a career in the Army.

"It all comes together," he said. "I get the strength to pull the water from weight lifting, and I'm sure swimming will help out in basic training. Overall, swimming has started a rolling effort on fitness in my life, and if I hadn't lost the weight, I wouldn't be in the Army."

Shortly after graduating from MCHS, Corey will go to a brief Army processing center in Denver "just to make sure I'm still under Army standards" before heading to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for basic training.

His sights are on being a combat engineer, and if the military life is to his liking after three years as a reservist, Corey plans to be an engineer officer.

As Corey's MCHS swimming career concludes at the state level, Tom Penner is excited to see the "amazing kid" carry his success beyond Craig.

Corey and six of his teammates travel to Fort Collins Thursday and Friday for 4A state championship -- Corey's final meet as a Bulldog.

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