Led by stellar swimmer Logan Hotchkiss, the Malibu High boys swim team brought home five California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) titles from the Division IV swim championships on Friday night at Riverside City College.
It was a banner day for Hotchkiss, who won the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle races, while Owen Franz took the 100 freestyle. They shared the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay titles with teammates Cooper Bell and Alec Wilimovsky.
The MHS boys placed fourth overall in the team competition among 36 schools, racking up 178 points total. The girls team finished 14th out of 40 schools with 73 points. Cerritos High School won both CIF team championships.
“Unbelievable day. We entered seven events and won five of them,” Malibu coach Michael Mulligan said. “We are not a swim school. We had two water polo players, a triathlete and a club stud that swam out of their minds today.”
But on this day, Malibu was a swim school. And for the foreseeable future, it will continue to be. Juniors Hotchkiss, Franz and Wilimovsky have another year to improve and will likely return to defend their CIF titles. Hotchkiss currently has six CIF titles to his credit.
A year ago, Hotchkiss won the 200 and 500 freestyle. He defended the two titles in emphatic fashion, setting two new school records and crushing the opposition. Hotchkiss swam a 1:41.48 in the 200 freestyle, an improvement of four seconds off his time in 2013 (1:45.54). He just missed the CIF Division IV meet record by .07 (1:41.41).
In the 500 freestyle, Hotchkiss recorded a time of 4:36.12 with Victor Dominguez of Pilgrim finishing in second in 4:49.67. Last year, Hotchkiss’ time was 4:46.45, a 10-second difference from this year’s performance.
“I hit all my goal times for my races,” Hotchkiss said after the event. “It’s pretty amazing. I will just keep working hard and I look forward to coming back next year to defend those.”
Franz became the second Malibu swimmer at the Riverside Aquatics Complex to claim a CIF title when he won the 100 freestyle in 47.73. He also finished fourth in the 50 freestyle (22.28).
“Going into league finals I didn’t really expect to,” said Franz about the 100 freestyle. “And to come out here and win was really cool.”
In the relay department, Malibu finished the 200 free in a time of 1:29.77, defeating second place San Dimas, which came in at 1:31.85. The Sharks narrowly missed the school record mark of 1:29.67.
To cap off a historic day, the Malibu foursome edged runner-up Citrus Valley in the 400 freestyle relay with a thrilling finish.
Franz swam the anchor and trailed Citrus Valley’s Justin Quiroga by a body length when he dove into the pool. By the third lap, Franz had cut the lead to three feet. Coming out of the final turn, Franz caught Quiroga and passed him with 10 meters left.
With the Malibu faithful screaming on every stroke, Franz touched the wall in a school-record time of 3:14.14, one second off the meet record of 3:13.14. Citrus Valley came in at 3:15.57.
“It was great. We had a lot of adrenaline,” Franz said. “The team had good chemistry. We were getting each other pumped up. It all worked out for us. To break our own record was even better.”
It was reminiscent of the U.S. 4×100 freestyle relay team, which passed France in a dramatic finish to capture the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“That last race was awesome,” Mulligan said. “Citrus Valley gave us a run for our money. The relays are such a team camaraderie that they fight so hard for each other.”
On the girls side, freshman Farah Stack placed third in the 100 backstroke (1:00.96) and third in the 200 freestyle (1:58.33). The MHS girls’ 400 freestyle relay team of Stack, Brenna Sinding, Amber Veronique and Gracie Kinyon finished eighth overall (4:13.91).