Winnetka, Ill. -- New Trier High School is seeing double as the sophomore class has earned two Guinness World Records: Most Twins and Most Multiples in a Single Academic Year at One School.
With 45 sets of multiples (44 sets of twins and one set of triplets in their sophomore year), the school shattered the previous record of 24 sets of twins held by Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill - one of New Trier's elementary feeder schools.
The same set of twins who discovered the initial record, Luke and Ryan Novosel, also led their peers at New Trier in this latest application. They knew that once they reached their freshman year, their record-setting middle school group would join other sets of multiples from the five other elementary districts that attend New Trier. The Novosels collected the required documentation from participating families last school year, then waited for nearly a year for news that Guinness had verified the record.
"It's not an earth-shattering accomplishment, but it's pretty cool to have a twin who always has your back and be surrounded by others like us at school," Luke and Ryan said.
In a class of just over 1,000 students, the 91 in the record-setting group exceed the national average for multiples by nearly three times. Girls rule the group with 19 girl-girl sets of twins versus 11 boy-boy. Only three pairs are identical, and they are all girls, as are the triplets.
Two sets were born on different days. One pair stands 7 inches apart while others have grown at the same pace throughout their 16 years. Some were born three months early and others late. One set of girls weighed over 15 lbs. at birth while a set of premature boys weighed in at less than 2 lbs. each. Two families have two sets of twins. One of these not only has a set of sibling twins but three sets of twin cousins that live nearby. Seventy percent were born in Chicago or Evanston, an earshot up Chicago's lakefront and home of Northwestern University. The North Shore suburbs that feed into New Trier, a public high school, include Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield, Glencoe, and Glenview.
The rate of twin births in the United States reached a record high in 2014, when approximately one in 30 babies born in the U.S. were twins. At nearly three times the national average, New Trier just may have a statistical anomaly in their ranks.
These sophomores are not post 9-11 babies, as nearly all were conceived prior to fall of 2001. Scientific studies suggest several leading factors in multiple births: maternal age, education, affluence and access to fertility treatments. All of these likely contributed to this demographic, but to the tune of three times as much? This Guinness Record may just hold for many years to come.