Malibu Boys Swim Team Remains Undefeated

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Logan Hotchkiss swims the breaststroke as part of his 200 IM race.

With high hopes of capturing a third consecutive league title and potentially challenging for a CIF title in the next few weeks, the Malibu High School boys swim team traveled north to Carpinteria to face host Cate last week.

In a close contest that went back and forth, the Sharks held off the Rams in an exciting dual meet, 92-75, to improve to 5-0 on the season.

“It was a great competition. Cate has some fabulous swimmers who are really fast,” Malibu boys coach Mike Mulligan said. “The meet was really close. It was never more than seven points throughout the whole meet until the last two events.”

Leading 73-66, Malibu propelled itself to victory behind its star swimmer Logan Hotchkiss. The six-time CIF champion won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.50, more than seven seconds before Cates’ Guhan Iyer arrived in 1:14.97.

Then, in the meet’s final race, Hotchkiss swam the anchor leg, holding off Cate’s best swimmer Zack Allen in the boys’ 400 freestyle relay to solidify the meet victory with a mark of 3:26.33 to Cate’s 3:27.15.

Malibu outscored Cate 19-9 in the final two events to take home the 17-point dual meet victory.

“The competition was pretty strong. We really felt that in the last relay,” Hotchkiss said. “They were catching up to us in that. They have a lot of sprinters and are pretty fast.”

Hotchkiss also took first in the 200 IM (2:04.03), routing his competitors by more than 13 seconds. The senior standout has decided to swim at UC Santa Barbara next year.

“I’m really excited. That’s been my top choice for two years now. I had other ‘reach’ schools, but that’s been my ‘want-to-go’ to school,” he said. “I really had a fun time when I was up there on my recruiting trip hanging out with the team. It’s going to be a really good fit for me.”

JC Heckman won four events for MHS, placing first in the 50 free (22.63) and 100 backstroke (56.78), as well as being a part of the Sharks’ winning 200 medley relay (1:53.27) and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Heckman, a senior transfer from Seattle, has been a huge addition to the team. The Sharks figure to be one of the favorites to win Division IV at the CIF Southern Section swim championships on May 15 at the Riverside Aquatics Complex in Riverside.

“We are all doing great and we are having fun while doing it, too,” said Heckman, who first started swimming just three years ago. “We have no weak points and we almost have too many good swimmers. All the relays will be stacked, no matter what.”

Owen Franz, Alec Wilimovsky and Hans Cole joined Heckman to win the 200 medley relay. Individually, Wilimovsky took first in the 100 free (51.74) and second in the 200 freestyle (1:51.97), while Franz placed third in the 50 free (23.91).

In addition to Heckman, seniors Gianluca Purzer and Thelen Mckinna-Worrell are newcomers to the swim team, giving the Sharks a legitimate chance to win a third straight league title as well as contend for a CIF title.

“They have added so much depth to the program as well as top-end speed,” said Mulligan, who led the MHS boys water polo team to its first-ever CIF title back in the fall. “We have some great swimmers. As long as our guys stay focused and work hard the last two weeks, they will have a lot of success at league finals and hopefully will come away with another league title. We are an elite team right now.”

On the girls’ side, Malibu senior Raine Murray and freshmen Annie Armitage, Kate Pietrzyk, and Gaia Hinds performed well, despite the Lady Sharks’ loss to Cate. The quartet won the 200 medley relay in 2:09.97. Hinds also won the 100 backstroke in 1:12.11.

“They stepped up and did well,” Malibu girls coach Tim Segesman said. “The three freshmen are really learning how to swim and swim the races as well. They have great attitudes and have improved as swimmers. That’s what you want to see.”

Malibu returns to Cate on May 8 for the Frontier League finals. Nordhoff, Carpinteria and La Reina will join Malibu and Cate to determine league supremacy.

“I’m excited to come up here again because it is a nice facility,” Mulligan said. “We were able to swim in the pool before we actually get to league finals. The kids will be familiar and comfortable with it and that should help a lot with being successful.”