Poll Results: Nolan the Most Likely Male to Make 2012 Olympics Berth

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:

  • David Nolan (48%, 113 Votes)
  • Clay Youngquist (15%, 36 Votes)
  • Arthur Frayler (13%, 31 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 19 Votes)
  • Ryan Murphy (6%, 13 Votes)
  • Nicholas Caldwell (6%, 13 Votes)
  • Kip Darmody (4%, 11 Votes)
  • 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.

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    Nolan has a great future ahead of him when you look at how he’s already faster than anyone in NCAA D1 in 200 IM, may be a 4 time winner in that event, and probably be in the top 3 or 5 in any other event he chooses (like 100 back, 200 free, maybe even 100 free, 400 IM or the fly’s). But USA swimming is still in beast mode and Lochte and Phelps are not going to give up their spots without a fight. He might wind up being the fastest swimmer not to make the Olympics (might wind up 3rd behind those two), but I don’t think that should be considered failure. Whether he makes it or not… Read more »


    I don’t think there will be a male high schooler in the USA 2012 olympic team. It will require talent on par with Phelps or Peirsol for a male schooler to qualify in the olympic team, who by the way were the last ones to do it in sydney.

    About Braden Keith

    Braden Keith

    Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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