Seven years can make all the difference.
In 2006 Nicolo’ Bolla was just beginning his career in hammer throwing.
Now heading into this season, he is ranked 15th in the nation and was named to the Preseason Division I Outdoor Favorites list by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Originally Bolla ran track, jumped hurdles and threw the javelin. But his coach then suggested to him that the hammer throw would be his best opportunity.
“He basically said ‘you can be really good at this, and let’s go for it’ and I liked that,” said Bolla.
Before coming to America, Bolla only played sports in his free time, including the hammer throw. His tenure at Troy was the first instance in which he was a member of an actual team.
Coming from Castlenovo, Italy, there were many adjustments that Bolla had to make in order to be comfortable in a new place surrounded by people he had never met. One of the most difficult for him was the distance from his family.
Another big initial challenge for him was the language, but that was something that came rather smoothly afterwards.
“At first it was pretty tough,” said Bolla. “You’re not around and can only come home for Christmas or summer break so it took a while. But now we Skype a lot, so it’s no big deal.”
His 15th national ranking is not the only success he has had as a thrower.
In 2010 he was named the Italian Champion for the hammer throw, something that was very important to him.
“It was very important,” he said. “I got a lot of silver medals and didn’t quite finish it but then I accomplished a big goal.”
Bolla contributes a lot of his success to the help he has received from Chris Best, an assistant coach for the program.
“Coach is great, we have a really good relationship,” he said. “There’s no mystery behind that. He makes us do things and explains why. It’s pretty hard to work for something with a payoff so far in the future but he helps us understand why it is so important.”
When he isn’t training for the hammer throw, he likes to spend a lot of his time involved with music.
“In my spare time, I like music,” he said. “I play base guitar and I also like many different types of modern music.”
Nicolo’ is majoring in Business Administration and is in the Master’s program, so he usually has night classes instead on during the day like most college students.
Although he graduates in May, he is considering getting his PhD and dreams of becoming a professor in the future.