David Nolan has his own expectations this season

David Nolan came out of Hershey High School in Pennsylvania with 3 National High School records, including a time in the 200 IM that would’ve won NCAAs in 2011. But with that kind of success comes some pretty intense expectations. At the 2012 NCAA Championship, as a freshman at Stanford, he was top three in the 200 IM, 100 Back, and 200 Back. He went best times in two of those three events, but in his mind it wasn’t a successful meet. This year he says he’s coming off of a great year of training in Palo Alto where there’s a new staff and a happier environment.

In this interview with Garrett McCaffrey, Nolan discusses the new program in Palo Alto, taper time, his confidence going into championship season, and what he learned in his first run at this collegiate championship season.


  1. pvk says:

    Nolan seems like a pretty level headed guy- hopefully there will be a sub 1:40 200 im from him in the near future…

  2. gosharks says:

    Very interesting. He said a lot with a little.

  3. fan388 says:

    Just became a DN fan….

  4. Nick says:

    Good interview. Hope he does well this year. Go David!

  5. bobo gigi says:

    I remember when some crazy swimming fans said, as always when there’s a new fast young swimmer, that David Nolan was the next Michael Phelps or the next Ryan Lochte. And we have seen since 2011 that he hasn’t much improved in SCY and has even disappeared in long course. I hope with his new training staff that he will again swim at his best at the next NCAA championships and this summer at the world championships trials. I want to know if he’s only a short course swimmer or if his bad long course results since 2010 are just accidents.

    • Gogo Bibi says:

      Are you serious? Nolan has been approaching this season like a mad man. His underwaters are getting even faster than before, but more importantly his mentality is much more composed and mature than before.

      His “slow” times earlier this season were due to Stanford not resting for their winter meet. Everyone thinks that Stanford’s swims are going to be nowhere near the top 5 in any event, but how the hell have they consistently been there for the past 30+ years? A team like theirs doesn’t just completely disappear in one year. The reason why you’re not impressed by Nolan’s times, and probably everyone’s times there, is that they didn’t rest for their meet, giving them an extra few weeks of good hard training that others teams spent tapering for an unimportant mid-season meet.

      Stanford’s going to explode in the postseason. The freshmen are almost never discussed in the various swim forums, with all of the hype being around Cal’s freshmen, but no one seems to remember Stanford getting the number two incoming recruiting class. The sophomores too, once deemed the “best recruiting class of all time” have only been marginally discussed in Nolan, Cosgarea, and Lane. On top of all that, the new coaching staff is finally training their swimmers intelligently, something usually unseen in the past years.

      Stanford hasn’t performed yet because they don’t need to prove their worth midseason; they know that when it matters, they’ll FINALLY show their guns, which have been kept locked very tightly by the coaches all year.

      • bobo gigi says:

        Not useful to take a name which looks like mine! But it’s not a big deal.
        Seriously, have you well read my comment? I never speak about this season! I don’t comment his results of this season! Thank you, I know he’ll swim his best times of the season next month. I’m not stupid, thank you. I have just remarked he has swum interesting times in long course in 2010, fantastic times in SCY in 2011 and since he hasn’t improved. I talk about his summer in 2011, his NCAA season and his summer in 2012. I don’t make criticisms. I just talk about facts. Now I hope he’ll again swim at his best with many new PB at the NCAA championships and at the world championships trials this summer. I wish him all the best.

  6. korn says:

    great interview, great person

  7. huh? says:

    Haven’t seen him is 2011? Guess you haven’t been watching, Bobo. He was top 3 events at NCAAs in 2012 as a Freshman!! Freshmen year is tough on many fronts then add on moving across the county, having the coach that recruited you retire unannounced and then the stress and disappointment of swimming at olympic trials. On the long course vs. short course, he’s obviously a better scy swimmer; thats what he’s been training at since he started. People thought Lochte wouldn’t be able to cross over to long course after his days at Florida, but I think he has managed ;). Nolan has been through alot, swimming-wise, in 2012 so I think he has set himself up for an even better 2013. I definitly just became a Nolan fan.

    • bobo gigi says:

      Excuse me but I always have more an international view. And for me swimming is first in long course. He was in 2010 in 53.05 in the 100 fly and in 2.00.61 in the 200 IM. Very good times for a 17-year-old guy. So he has already very well swum in long course. And he has disappeared during the summers since then. I just hope to see him again at his best next June because he’s very talented.

  8. longcommuter says:

    Seems to me like this talented (on multiple fronts) young man has his head on straight. He had a fantastic freshman year – 2 silvers, 1 bronze, and a lynch pin on multiple relays. I look forward to watching him compete.

  9. dl says:

    It sounds like DN was under tremendous pressure last year and it got to him. His NCAA meet in 2012 was outstanding but did not meet his own expectations. I hope that he can overcome this and swim to his full potential this year. It’s tough to swim at that level.

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About Garrett McCaffrey

Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the... Read More »