Sharks boys and girls swimming to wins

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Photos by Devon Meyers/TMT.

Girls squad eyes Citrus Coast League title, while under-manned boys team aims for personal bests

The Malibu High Sharks boys and girls swim teams’ seasons are going swimmingly.

The girls squad is winning meets and has their sights’ set on a Citrus Coast League championship, while the boys group — despite being outnumbered by competing teams — outswims the competition in any almost every event they dive into.

Sharks coach Mike Mulligan said all the swimmers are performing well. 

“Some of the kids are getting their best times,” he said. “They are all training really hard.” 

The Sharks girls finished in third place at the Citrus Coast League Championships last spring. Currently, they sit at second place in the league standings. Mulligan said the team has the talent to be the best team in the league. The girls are versatile swimmers, he added. 

“They are working hard and really allowing us to move them anywhere in the swim meet,” Mulligan explained. “They swim all the strokes really well. It’s nice that they are all interchangeable.” 

The girls team includes Ally Burke, Frankie Little, Camille Garvin, Izzy Morris, Tallula Murphree, Tallulah Quartararo, Nina Sichta, Stevie Sturges, Olivia Wild Mullarky, and Ceylon Zappa.

Burke has swam some of her best times in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle this season. Murphree has swam four times that could qualify her for the CIF championships later this spring. Sichta and Morris have also registered impressive swim times. Zappa, a sophomore, has shined in the breaststroke, Mulligan noted.

“She is swimming with confidence and a lot of speed,” he said. “She took it upon herself to do club swimming. That has helped her with her speed and strength.”

The Malibu girls lost a home meet to Carpinteria, a skilled team, on March 13 by a slim margin. Mulligan stated that the bunch swam well and will learn from the shortfall. 

“We saw what Carpinteria’s strengths are, and where we can attack them at league finals,” he said. 

Hayden Goldberg, another Malibu coach, said the league championship is within the girls’ grasp.

“We have a chance to win league once we put our horses in the right races,” he said. “That is very, very exciting.” 

The Sharks hosted Agoura on Tuesday and have two home meets — April 10 at home Fillmore and April 17 against Nordoff — before the league title races begin at Carpinteria on April 23. 

The boys team also has high swimming hopes this season also, but has one drawback. There are only six members on the team, so while the boys are victorious in most of the events they are in, they are outnumbered in the pool by every team they face. 

Mulligan said the Sharks boys’ record isn’t a proper reflection on how good they are. 

“We have three or four guys that are top-notch swimmers and whatever events they are swimming, they are winning,” he noted. “Just because you win a race doesn’t mean you score enough to win an event. We can’t get swimmers in every event, so we have some events with no swimmers.” 

“We are looking to achieve their personal bests,” added Goldberg.

Mulligan also said Malibu could have one or two swimmers in an event, while competing teams have three swimmers. 

The boys team includes Thomas Drummond, Ryder Lippman, Nico Marazzi, Ranger Murphree, Tristan Sturgeon, and Filip Kurial, the Malibu record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. 

The senior Kurial, who will swim for the UC San Diego Tritons collegiately, had swam in only two of Malibu’s meets so far this season at press time because he was sick at one time and training for a club team swim event another. He has still swam four CIF-qualifying times. 

Goldberg said Kurial is one of the best swimmers in Malibu High’s history.

“It’s been an honor to watch Filip,” he said. “He has put his head down and grinded every single hour that he could. The other day, we had a swim meet, and he stayed after the swim meet to swim for an hour. He’s humble. He is not out there saying anything. He lets his actions speak for himself.” 

The coaches are looking forward to the boys team’s match against a talented Nordhoff bunch. 

Mulligan is optimistic for the boys and girls Sharks at league finals. 

“Expectations of the girls team [are] to win [the] league title and get four or five top swimmers into CIF,” he said. “For the boys, it’s to be competitive at league finals and get a few individual champions.”