Malibu shines in track and swim league finals

Frontier League finals were held last week in track and swim, and a host of Malibu athletes took home hardware with performances that garnered individual league titles. The boys won the league title in swimming, with the girls finishing in second, while the Malibu track team took third in the girls’ competition and fourth in the boys’.

Track and Field

Sophomore Caroline Pietrzyk led the track contingent with victories in the girls’ 1600 and 3200 races on a hot day at Oaks Christian School. Fresh off a superb showing at the Ventura County Championships, where she won the girls’ 1600 and took third in the 3200, Pietrzyk dominated the field at the Frontier League finals, winning in a time of 5:30.44 in the 1600 and 12:06.56 in the 3200.

“It wasn’t my best race of the year but it felt good,” Pietrzyk said shortly after the 1600. “The last 800 I really picked it up and did as well as I could in the heat.”

At the Ventura County Championships, which invite all the Frontier League schools including Malibu, Pietrzyk submitted the two best performances of her young career. In the 1600, she ran a personal best of 5:03.07 against the best runners in the area with the exception of Simi Valley’s Sarah Baxter, the state’s top distance runner who chose to run in the 3200 only.

“There was one girl (Hannah Kirkegaard of Ventura) who had run under a five-minute mile so I wanted to keep her in my sight and get as close to her as I could. I stayed with her the whole race and then the last 100 meters I pulled ahead of her,” Pietrzyk said. “That just felt awesome. It was really incredible to think that in all of Ventura County that I am the fastest girl in the mile.”

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Two hours later Pietrzyk placed third behind Baxter and Simi’s Charlotte Utash in the 3200 with a personal record of 10:49.67.

“Her Ventura County was just absolutely amazing, the fact she did so well in the 1600 and then ran so well in the 3200,” Malibu coach John Cary said. “Where do you find a young lady that’s a sophomore who can do that? I don’t know of anyone. I’m a happy coach.”

Pietrzyk, 15, now moves on to the CIF Division IV Prelims this Saturday at Carpinteria High School and then on to the CIF Finals on May 18 at Mt. San Antonio College. Cary said she will only compete in the 3200 at CIF, where she is currently ranked No. 1 in Division IV in the state. Overall she is 11th in Southern California and 19th in the state.

“I just want to keep improving my time and pushing myself to some place that I don’t think I can go to. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think I could break 11 minutes, and I broke 11 minutes,” Pietrzyk said of the 3200 event. “Now I don’t think I can break 10:45 but maybe I will end up doing that.”

Don’t count against her. As for the possibility of winning a CIF individual title in the 3200?

“I have to get my head around doing something like that and embracing that level of competition,” Pietrzyk said.

Junior Dyer Pettijohn had a strong day for the MHS boys. He took second in the long jump (18-8), second in the triple jump (38-11.75) and fourth in the high jump (5-6).

“I’d say it was a pretty good day,” Pettijohn said.

Swimming

The Malibu High boys put in a strong day in the pool, compiling 398 points to outlast Nordhoff (363 points) for the Frontier League title last Thursday at the Fillmore Community Pool. It was a banner day for sophomore Logan Hotchkiss, who won three individual league titles. Not to be outdone, Dane Sartorius, Alec Wilimovsky and Owen Franz each won two titles.

Hotchkiss won the 500 freestyle in a time of 4:52.38 while Sartorius won the 100 butterfly in 57.06. Wilimovsky took first in the 200 freestyle (1:51.47) and Franz claimed first (23.28) in the 50 freestyle.

Hotchkiss (two relays), Sartorius, Wilimovsky and Franz all contributed on winning relay teams.

The girls’ swim team took second with 264 points behind league champion Nordhoff with 361. Jenny Hill-Carta, Chloe Veronique and Esther Yang each won two league titles. Hill- Carta took first in the 100 freestyle (1:00.09), Veronique in the 100 butterfly (1:08.43), and Yang in the 100 backstroke (1:02.62).

The three ladies, along with Georgia Johnson, prevailed in the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:56.02.

A total of 11 Malibu boys and girls swimmers earned automatic CIF qualifying times at the meet. Graham McKenzie, Cooper Bell and Walker Hannigan will join the other eight swimmers listed above this Thursday and Friday at the CIF championships in Riverside.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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