Herald athlete of the week: New Trier's Carly Novelline

  • New Trier senior Carly Novelline won all four of her events at the New Trier girls swimming sectional on Nov. 6.

    New Trier senior Carly Novelline won all four of her events at the New Trier girls swimming sectional on Nov. 6. Courtesy of Laura Bean

Posted11/11/2021 8:00 AM

At the New Trier girls swimming and diving sectional on Nov. 6, New Trier's Carly Novelline won each of her four events as an individual or as part of a relay.

The Virginia-bound senior, a sprinter, won the 100-yard freestyle (51.07 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (55.16). She led Kaelyn Gridley, Alexis Wendel and Charlize Escasa on a winning 200 medley relay (1 minute, 43.94 seconds). Novelline swam the third leg of a winning 400 freestyle relay (3:33.71) with Wendel, Jane Sanderson and Meagan Meade.


Helping the Trevians to the sectional title, Novelline has the fastest time in the 100 backstroke among all sectional qualifiers entering this weekend's girls state finals in Westmont. She's seeded sixth in the 100 freestyle, and the Trevians enter state competition with the second-fastest 200 medley relay time.

"She has superb skills off the blocks and underwater," said New Trier girls swim coach Robert Guy.

Her skills showed as a sophomore at the 2019 state championship, where New Trier was the runner-up to Neuqua Valley.

At that meet, Novelline helped New Trier break its own pool and state record in the 200 medley relay at 1:40.43. She won the 100 backstroke in a school record time of 53.92, and set two more school records with a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle (49.38) and a third-place 400 freestyle relay (3:24.94).

"Carly is a great competitor and excels when the level of competition is at its highest," Guy said.

A member of Wildcat Aquatics, Novelline owns the fastest 100 freestyle time on the USA Swimming 2021-22 women's National Junior Team. Among other achievements, she is a four-time winner in the Illinois Senior Championships, and won four of six events at the USA Swimming Futures Championship this summer.

In early October, Novelline helped set a world junior record in the 4x50 mixed freestyle relay at the 2021 FINA World Cup in Berlin. She also is an Olympic Trials qualifier, Guy said.

Plus, there's this: "She is an excellent teammate," Guy said.

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