MHS Swim Teams Finish Season Strong

Malibu High Sharks swimmers compete at a May 2017 meet at the MHS pool.

Heading into the season, members of the Malibu High swim teams were unsure of how well they would do in the postseason, since they were moving from the CIF-Southern Section’s Division 4 to Division 3. 

Splash forward two months that included top two finishes in the Tri-Valley League and a respectable finish in the CIF-SS Ford Division 3 Swimming & Diving Championships at the Riverside Aquatic Center May 8-11, the Sharks are proud of their season and ready to dive into next year all ready.

Junior Marcel Hurtubise said the season was a great one for the Sharks boys and girls swimmers. The 16-year-old said shortly before the season began the team had been training to beat times set in Division 4 — then they found out they need to prepare to beat faster times because they were moved to Division 3, which boasts a bevy of schools with talented swimmers. 

“It was a little daunting,” Hurtubise admitted, adding that the team accepted the challenge. 

The boys and girls squads swam like torpedoes throughout the season. The boys captured the Tri-Valley League’s overall title and finished the season with a 5-2 record. The girls finished second in the league and earned a 5-3 record. 

In May, Mike Mulligan, one of the swim coaches, said the Sharks were hitting their fastest swim times at the right time. The coach said he was looking forward to seeing the Sharks compete in CIF against the best competition in Southern California. 

At the CIF Championships at the Riverside Aquatic Center, Malibu placed 30th out of 47 teams. 

Sophomore Kennan Hotchkiss and junior Annie Armitage led the Sharks. Hotchkiss’ 4:44.63 placed him seventh in the boys 500 free. Armitage finished eighth in the girls 500-yard freestyle with a time of five minutes and 23.26 seconds. 

Twelve Sharks competed at the May 8-11 event. The other Malibu participants were girls swimmers Alex Mora, Kate Pietryzck, Amy Perna, and Gaia Hinds and boys swimmers Hurtubise, Tobias Jensen, Julian Mora, Nathan Rucker-Jensen, Ben Tran and Everest Brady.

Hotchkiss also finished 13th in the 200 free with a time of 1.47.56. The 10th grader was the lead for the 400 free relay team, which finished 13th with a time of 3:19.96. The other 400 swimmers were 2017 Malibu graduates Everest Brady and Ben Tran and Mora, a sophomore.

Tran’s 1:01.99 placed him 17th in the 100 breastroke finals, but his time of 1:01. in the preliminary round set a new school record. Tran, Brady, the junior Hurtubise and another 2017 grad, Tobias Jensen, finished the medley relay 15th in 1:43.00

Armitage, her classmates Mora and Pietryzck, and the sophomore Perna’s 1:45.43 placed them 14th in the 200 free relay. Hinds, also a junior, Armitage, Mora and Pietryzch’s 3:50.64 placed them 17th in the 400 free relay. 

Hinds said the team’s CIF performance was huge accomplishment. 

“We were really intimidated because [we expected]all the swim teams to be faster,” the 17-year-old said. “We kept it fun and performed well.” 

Brady, looking forward to attending USC in the fall, said the swim teams should be even better next season. He said he really enjoyed the CIF experience because it gave the swimmers an opportunity to really solidify their friendships.  

“Everyone did really well,” Brady said. “Going to CIF meant a lot to me, personally. We all stayed at the same hotel in Riverside. It was great way to end the year with a lot of team bonding.”

Hinds, also a water polo player, said competing with her “swim family” at CIF was motivating. 

“We were doing it as a team,” she said. 

Over the summer, several Sharks are competing in swim clubs such as the Malibu Seawolves. The Seawolves have meets July 7-9. Swimmers are also competing in the July 13-16 Los Angeles Invitational at USC. 

Hurtubise said he is using his summer time in the pool to get faster. The 16-year-old said one of his goal’s next year is to set a school swimming record.

“I want to definitely beat the 100 fly time and 200 fly time,” he said.