Wilmette, Sports

Local swimmers off to the races in Olympic Trials

The swimming talent in the North Shore cannot be contained.

It is common for local swimmers to conquer bigger and brighter challenges no matter where they are.

Most recently, several swimmers with ties to the area competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials June 15-23 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Kaelyn Gridley

Gridley is a 2022 New Trier graduate who swam the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke at the trials, finishing fifth in both events with times of 1 minute 6.67 seconds and 2:27.14, respectively.

A rising junior at Duke University, Gridley is an All-American for her fourth-place NCAA performance in the 200 breaststroke. As a high school senior, she broke two state records (one individual, one relay) and was the fastest breaststroker in the nation in her class.

Carly Novelline

Novelline, also a 2022 New Trier grad, competed in the 100 butterfly at the trials, coming up short of a finals appearance.

With the University of Virginia, Novelline won a national championship swimming the fly leg of the 200 medley relay. Virginia also won the national team title.

Novelline was a backstroker in high school, winning the event at the state finals in in 2019 and 2021. She also was part of two state-championship relays in 2021. She was an All-Conference backstroker as a Virginia freshman and was All-Conference in the butterfly this past season.

Greta Pelzek

Pelzek placed 15th in the 200 fly with a swim of 2:11.06 at the Olympic Trials. She also competed in the 100 fly, placing 30th in the prelims.

Pelzek is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina. This past season, she finished second in the 200 fly, fifth in the 100 fly and ninth in the 100 individual medley at the SEC championships. She placed 10th in the 200 fly at the NCAA championships.

As a Trevian, Pelzek won three individual sectional championships her senior season in 2020-’21, when the state finals were canceled because of COVID-19.

Charlie Bufton

Bufton, who graduated New Trier in June, competed in the 200 individual medley at the trials. He swam the race in 2:04.45.

Bufton set two Trevian records (200 IM, 100 backstroke) while competing at the state finals in 2024, placing third in both events. Bufton is off to North Carolina State University.

The Maurers

Luke Maurer, a 2020 graduate of Loyola Academy, competed in the 100 and 200 freestyles, finishing 26th and 47th, respectively.

Maurer was a 14-time All-America swimmer during his four years at Stanford University. He holds part of three program records with the Cardinal for his efforts in relays.

Maurer’s younger brother, Rex Maurer, who spent one year at Loyola Academy, placed 10th in the 200 individual medley and 11th in the 200 freestyle at the trials.

Tierney Lenahan

Lenahan is a rising senior at New Trier High School and raced in the 100 backstroke at the trials, placing 36th (1:02.04) in the prelims.

A Duke commit, Lenahan is a multi-time state champion. In Illinois as a sophomore, she was a co-state champion in the 100 backstroke and runnerup in the 100 freestyle in 2022. She also swam on the Trevians’ championship 200 medley relay that season. As a freshman at Bainbridge High School in Washington, Lenahan won the 100 freestyle in the state championships and was also part of a championship relay.

Grace Koenig-Song

Koenig-Song is a 14-year-old swimmer with NASA Wildcat Aquatics. She was one of the youngest swimmers at the Olympic Trials and raced in the 100 breaststroke. She finished in 1:10.34, good enough for 37th in the prelims.

Koenig-Song has set numerous youth-swimming records, including the state record in the 50 breaststroke.

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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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