Interview: Daniel Nolan

Daniel Nolan (photo: Tommy McGee)

Sandy Koufax could overpower professional baseball players before he developed the greatest curveball in the history of the game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could have dunked and rebounded his way to the Hall of Fame, but learning the unstoppable skyhook made him the NBA\'s all-time leading scorer. When a raw talent learns a skill, the result is domination within his field of competition. This is the case with Scottsboro\'s Daniel Nolan.

Already one of the state\'s fastest pure sprinters, Nolan began to learn hurdle technique as a sophomore. Though the form did not come naturally to him, he could stutter and leap his way to respectable 300m hurdle times, while his time in the 110-meter distance slowly inched down from 18+ to the 15-second range.

In 2002, the barriers started to come a little more naturally for the speedster. He finished the season undefeated in the 300m hurdles while becoming the first Alabama athlete in more than five years to run under thirty-eight seconds. And though the longer hurdles were clearly his forte, he also won the 110-meter race at the 5A state competition. The domination has continued this year. As Nolan consistently runs in the high 37\'s at major meets, his 300m hurdle races are one of the biggest attractions at every meet he runs. In the straight hurdles, he has lowered his personal best from a 15.06 to 14.29, one of the fastest times ever clocked in the state.

Nolan is also no stranger to team success. In February he earned Class 5A MVP honors for leading Scottsboro to their third straight indoor title. Last May the Wildcats picked up the school\'s first ever men\'s outdoor championship after finishing a mere point away in 2001. With just the state meet left this season, Coach John Esslinger the Scottsboro team will look for big points one more time from \"Rollin\" Nolan. Then, it\'s off to Starkville, Mississippi, where Daniel\'s 400m hurdle potential could complete the championship puzzle for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.