Two swimmers from the Malibu High School Sharks swim team qualified for an automatic CIF bid on Wednesday, March 12, in a meet against the Santa Clara High School Bruins.
Freshman Farah Stack finished with a time of 2 minutes 5.86 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle, easily beating the required time of 2:11.30 for an automatic bid.
In the 50-yard freestyle, junior Logan Hotchkiss finished at 22.95 seconds, barely squeaking by the automatic-bid time of 23:40 seconds.
Malibu’s junior varsity boys team dominated Santa Clara 110-22. The results of the girls junior varsity competition were closer, but the Sharks still prevailed over the Bruins, 73-70.
Boys’ head coach Mike Mulligan was surprised at how well Malibu performed in only its second meet of the season.
“Some of the kids are swimming faster than we expected, so that’s always good early in the season,” Mulligan said.
The Sharks also earned six consideration CIF bids. Two of them were by Stack and Hotchkiss, who won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively.
Malibu won all but two events against the Bruins. Santa Clara prevailed in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:35.85, more than six seconds faster than the Sharks.
The Bruins also won the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, which was combined with the boys competition, as only one girl swimmer from Santa Clara competed in the event.
Santa Clara did not compete in any varsity events on Wednesday. Mulligan said that was a difference compared the Malibu’s last meet against the Calabasas Coyotes.
“Because Santa Clara didn’t have any varsity kids, we were able to move kids around and experiment and kind of see what their second and third events might be,” Mulligan said. “So when we do get into tougher competition and we get into the playoffs, they can be swimming their best events.”
Girls head coach Tim Segesman felt the win against the Coyotes started Malibu’s season on a strong note.
“I think it set a tone for this season and the kids really want to try to do their best,” Segesman said.
Malibu blew Santa Clara out of the water with huge time margins in most of the events, but some were close.
In the girls 200-yard freestyle, the Bruins swimmer in lane 2 took an early lead. Malibu freshman Zoe Detweiler was able to catch up, making the race neck-and-neck.
Detweiler was able to gain separation, but the Bruins swimmer got close near the end. Detweiler won the race by less than one second.
Segesman believes his girls’ performance Wednesday showed promising signs of a good season.
“We saw areas of improvement, but overall, the girls did a good job,” Segesman said. “It gives them a sight of where they stand so they can sit there and see where they need to improve.”
Segesman said pacing was one area his team could improve on.
“You can’t always just go out and sprint the first lap of eight,” Segesman said. “You have to learn how to pace the race.”
Mulligan felt Wednesday’s meet was an improvement for the boys over their previous competition.
“I think they fared well,” Mulligan said. “I think we improved on some technique swimming we didn’t do well last week. I think we improved in our disqualifications that we got last week. The kids that made mistakes didn’t make those mistakes today, so that was good.”
Like Segesman, Mulligan feels there is room for improvement for this team going forward.
“You always want to improve on your turns and stroke work,” Mulligan said. “So we’re going to work on that and relay starts.”
Malibu will go on the road to compete against the Santa Paula Cardinals at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 19.