Never say never.  That is the Golden Rule of sports and the future.

But if there is a Pennsylvania scholastic swimmer who tops what Hershey’s David Nolan has done in his career, please, God, let me live long enough to see him.  Or her.

The list below is actually culled just to display the highlights.  Because I’m not of a swimming mind, I’m not going into all of that national age-group stuff, which is actually more important in the wider swimming world than what happens at state championship meets.

But what Nolan has done at the PIAA Championships is extraordinary not just because of his medal count – 7 individual golds, 13 golds including relay legs – but because his performances crushed those national records in the process.

By the way, before we get to Nolan’s PIAA bullet points, the PIAA meet records took a savage beating over the weekend, thanks primarily to Hershey’s boys and girls, who established an eye-popping nine PIAA and four NFHS marks.  Next year, there will be 17 new records in the PIAA program, all done without the help of the banned high-tech suits that were supposedly responsible for the flurry of state records in 2009 (there were 20 new records in ’09, including one diving mark).

But do you know how many times existing PIAA records were broken over the weekend, including prelims?  34 times.

Of the 17 new records, only five were re-set just once during the meet: the AA girls 200 IM, the AA boys 50 free, the AAA girls 200 IM, the AAA boys 200 MR, and the AAA boys 400 MR.  The other records were broken multiple times, including the AAA girls 200 free, which was re-set four times.  The boys AAA 100 back was re-set three times, but that doesn’t include three swimmers who posted times below the 2010 record that never saw the light of day because they occurred during Nolan’s unbelievable 45.49 in the finals.

As I said back in 2009, it’s not the suits, it’s the swimmers in them.

On to Nolan and his list.

* Seven PIAA individual gold medals (tied with Penn Manor’s Cameron Hollinger and Pennsbury’s Gary Plantier).

* 13 PIAA gold medals including relays (PIAA boys record)

* 7 PIAA individual meet records (4 in Class AAA, 3 in Class AA)

* 5 PIAA relay meet records (2 in Class AAA, 3 in Class AA)

* 12 total PIAA meet records including relays

* At least four NFHS records in the 200 IM (1:41.39), 100 backstroke (45.49), 100 freestyle (42.34), and 200 freestyle relay (1:21.01).  Hershey’s 400 free relay time of 3:00.71 was announced as a NFHS record, but a team from California had an electronic time of 3:00.68 in 2009, but that was not listed as a recognized NFHS record.  If it turns out the California time is not an NFHS record, Hershey and Nolan will have another NFHS record.


Never say never?  Gotta tell ya, I’m awfully close.

  2 Responses to “David Nolan’s PIAA file: There’s nothing like it”

  1. Rod:

    You’re right. Olsters like you and I may not live long enough to see a wunderkind like this again. If I’m not mistaken, he’s got another year or two to go, no? Then, it’s on to the Olympics! I think that Nick Savoy took a great attitude into his face-offs with Nolan, knowing that he had little chance of winning.

    Speaking of the unbelievable, I hope you recorded the NCAA D-I wrestling championships. I still haven’t wrapped my head around the fact that a man with ONE LEG could win a national title. Anthony Robles now fits into the category of “wunderkind,” as well!

    And…KUDOS TO PENN STATE! When Sanderson took the job, I knew PSU would get there, but I thought it would take longer than two years!

  2. Not just the best swimmer in PA high school swimming history…David Nolan is the best high school swimmer in US high school swimming history. He is the most exciting talent in the sport of swimming since Michael Phelps. I enjoyed talking to you on the wrestling chat Rod. Keep up all the good work with the site.


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