The splashes you hear coming from the campus of Malibu High School every afternoon are resonating from the pool that the Malibu Seawolves now call home. More than 70 young boys and girls ranging in age from six to 15 have joined the program since its inception five months ago. The newly formed aquatics program established itself in August as a full-service swim club designed to serve the city of Malibu and its surrounding area.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Malibu Seawolves program because Malibu is such an enclosed community,” Malibu Seawolves Swimming (MSS) founder Jon Carroll said. “There are many committed people and a lot of great pride in the program. When you have that, it’s very easy to try and develop something of quality that kids are going to enjoy and have for years to come.”
MSS is a member of both United States Swimming (USAS) and Southern California Swimming (SCS). MHS previously hosted Westside Aquatics as a satellite location for the Pacific Palisades-based program. Malibu Seawolves Swimming has replaced them with the intentions to give Malibu residents their own swim program.
Carroll was hired to oversee the program after his experiences as head coach for Team Santa Monica from 2006 to 2010. In addition to his duties for MSS, he is currently in his first year as Harvard-Westlake’s swim coach. Carroll, a University of Penn graduate, relishes the challenge to build a program from scratch into a thriving organization.
“The goal is to have people look at our program if they want to learn how to swim or increase their fitness. We want to be a catch-all for aquatics in the Malibu area,” Carroll explained. “The kids have been great. There has been a lot of excitement to come every day and learn something new. They want to take the necessary steps to go from novice to a competitive swimmer.”
The first step for Carroll to establish a successful program was hiring Mike Alexandrov as head coach. As a two-time Olympian, Alexandrov brings not only a wealth of experience in the pool to the position, but also a wealth of knowledge as a fitness expert.
“We have been really lucky to have coaches who have come to us who bring a wealth of not only great swimming accomplishments to the table but the ability to inspire and motivate kids,” Carroll said. “Mike has a great knack for connecting with kids and that’s been the greatest thing that I have seen so far.”
Alexandrov was the Big Ten’s swimmer of the year in 2007 and represented Bulgaria in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He specializes in the 100 breaststroke and has been competing for the United States since 2009.
“I am very excited to start this new journey with the Malibu Seawolves swim club,” Alexandrov said. “I am confident that with good teamwork we will reach everyone’s goals. I hope the athletes are ready for a new chapter in their swimming careers.”
In addition, six other coaches including Max Jaben (Israel national team) and Omar Pinzon (Columbia national team) are on staff. Carroll also offers an adult education program once a month that assists parents with the understanding of club swimming and the MSS vision.
“He’s launched the new team in a great direction. He’s a team owner who is really motivated,” said Steve Hotchkiss, whose sons Logan and Kennan are a part of the program. “We have great numbers and the parents are really happy.”
Practices are held daily from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., preparing athletes to maximize their aquatic potential. Members include kids as young as six learning how to swim for the very first time to experienced swimmers such as Logan Hotchkiss, a sophomore at MHS.
Logan, 15, Kennan, 11, and three other MSS athletes will be competing in Las Vegas this weekend at the Winter Age Group Invite.
“I think the team has improved a lot with the coaching,” Logan said. “The attitude of the swimmers is really good too.”
More information on the Malibu Seawolves can be found at www.malibuseawolves.org.