In a not-unexpected result, David Nolan ran away with our latest vote that asked “which current male high school swimmer has the best chance at qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.”
After Nolan’s exploits this spring, where he broke 3 individual National High School Records as well as a relay record, he’s the easy choice for the 2012 High School Swimmer of the Year. But as to the question about whether or not he has the ability to make the team, I think David Rieder hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that, while Nolan could final in as many as 6 individual events at Trials, he’s got a brick wall ahead of him in terms of the level of competition that he will face.
His best chances seem to be a longshot in the 100 back (after Peirsol’s retirement left a bit of an opening) and a relay spot in the 100 free (where he broke the National Record last year in 42.34 – yards). However, in both events, his personal bests are still at least two seconds away from the times it will likely take to make the team (and that includes a lifetime best already posted in 2011 in the 100 back).
Full Poll Results:
The two runners-up were my first and second choices in Clay Youngquist (who seems to have a great shot at an 800 free relay spot) and Arthur Frayler (who is already on the National Team and competed at the 2010 Pan Pac Championships).
The heavy response in the comments section, however, were that expectations are not high in 2012 for these high school swimmers. Most don’t expect any male who graduates in the class of 2011 or later to make what should prove to be a veteran, matured Olympic squad in 2012.