He's qualified because: Established pair of records while winning 100 butterfly (50.36 seconds) and 200 freestyle (1:41.35) at Central Section D-II finals. Also helped power fifth-place 200 medley (1:45.09) and seventh-place 200 free (1:34.62) relays. His 100 fly was All-American consideration time that ended up 109th fastest in the United States this season. Just missed All-American consideration status in 200 free, by 0.09 seconds. Swam second-fastest 100 fly and third-fastest 200 free when combined with D-I finals results.
Building his résumé: Has captured six D-II golds in three seasons, also placing first in 100 fly and 500 free during freshman, sophomore seasons. Owns school record in each of the eight individual events. "I decided to go 200 free (this year) rather than the 500 free because I wanted more of a challenge," said Nolan, who won the 500 free last season by more than 5 seconds. "I felt I could take down (the 200 free) record as well."
Cross training: For first time, 5-foot-11, 155-pounder last fall went out for cross country, helping squad win East Sequoia League and Central Section D-V crowns and earn berth in CIF State Championships. "I used the cardio to give me an advantage in the pool," Nolan said. "It was beneficial. And I enjoyed it."
In the genes? Not really: The Panthers didn't having a swimming team until 1991, three years after Nolan's parents, Shannon and Nick, graduated from Corcoran. So Nolan doesn't come from an aquatics family. But he did take an instant liking to the sport when he joined the recreation Corcoran Dolphins at age 5. "I like to race," Nolan said. "I just felt that edge once I stepped on the blocks." Growing up, Nolan played several sports. Baseball and soccer didn't stick. He enjoyed basketball, but the allure of the water always brought him back to the pool. "We put him in soccer and he would tell me, 'Mom, it's too hot. I'd rather be in the water,' " Shannon Nolan said. "We tried baseball and he would play in the outfield and say, 'Mom, it's boring out here, and it's hot. I just want to be in the water.' Chris has set his own goals and pushed himself."