Winnetka, Sports

Seniors put Trevians in prime position heading into swim-and-dive state finals

New Trier entries won eight of 11 events in a dominating sectional performance Saturday, Nov. 6, in Winnetka.

Seniors headlined the Trevians effort, as Carly Novelline (100-yard backstroke, 100 freestyle), Leslie Wendel (200 freestyle), Alexis Wendel (100 butterfly) and Kaelyn Gridley (100 breaststroke) collected five individual titles. They also all played a part in New Trier’s sweep of the three relay events.

The result was 320 team points compared to 211 for second-place Glenbrook North and 207 for third-place Loyola Academy.

In total, New Trier will bring 16 entries to the state finals on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12, at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont — a new venue for the IHSA finals that are usually held at New Trier or Evanston high schools. St. Charles North will feature 18 entries.

The Trevs are led by Novelline, who won two state championships (100 backstroke, 200 free relay) and a second-place medal (100 free) as a sophomore.

That year, 2019, New Trier finished second in team scoring, totaling 169 points to Neuqua Valley’s 183.

New Trier’s (left to right) Alexis Wendel, Charlize Escasa, Kaelyn Gridley and Carly Novelline celebrate a win in the 200-yard medley relay during the sectional meet Saturday, Nov. 6, in Winnetka.

Novelline and Gridley were both on the 200 medley relay team that set the state record at 1 minute 40.43 seconds in 2019. They join forces again along with Alexis Wendel and Charlize Escasa to challenge that mark this time around.

Also qualifying for the Trevs, senior Jane Sanderson will compete in the 50 free and 400 free, freshman Olivia Safarikova the 200 free, Escasa the 100 breaststroke and 200 free relay, and seniors Sydney Holder and Amelia Haveron the 1-meter dive.

New Trier is chasing its first state championship since 2014, when it won its fourth in a row.

The Ramblers will send two entries to the state finals, after freshman Maria Cheng took third in the 100 backstroke and Cheng, Maeve O’Donnell, Ana Quigley and Olivia Rucker finished second in the 200 medley relay.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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