A quartet of Malibu youths made long distance swimming a family affair in late December.
The siblings—seven-year-old Archie Sloan, five-year-old Nova Sloan, 11-year-old Vaughn Sloan and nine-year-old Morrison Sloan—each swam at least a mile to conclude their swim training with an experienced swim instructor in Pacific Palisades.
Sharon Minasian Skowron, who has taught swimming to people of all ages for over four decades, called the four kids advanced swimmers.
“The Sloans are such a fun and athletic family,” noted Skowron, who estimated between 2,000 to 2,500 individuals have earned their swimming chops in the family-run swim program started by her mother Diane
That makes sense, as the four’s father, Mark Sloan, grew up in Malibu and was once a lifeguard, according to Mark’s wife and the sibling’s mother Lise.
“He’s a waterman,” Lise said of her husband. “He loves the water. He loves surfing. He takes our kids out in the water all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer.”
Lise’s children completed their long distance swims in Skowron’s 35-foot pool, in which a one mile swim is around 150 lengths. Nova swam a mile and Archie swam one and a half miles. Morrison swam two and two-thirds miles and Vaughn swam a new pool record of three-and-a-half miles.
The foursome began swimming with Skowron shortly after their family moved back to Malibu from New York. While in the northeast, the group swam in the Sweet Blue Swim program in Connecticut. When the family returned to Southern California, the family wanted to get the kids back in the pool with Skowron, who taught Archie to swim when he was three.
“She taught him to swim so quickly,” Lise of Skowron. “I was really impressed with her.”
Skowron told Lise that children can be strong distance swimmers. Lise said her kids were proud of themselves by the time they completed Skowron’s swim training.
“They had no idea they could swim that far,” she said. “Especially the older two—Morrison and Vaughn—you drop them off at 11 a.m. and you think, “How long is this going to go?’ At 3 p.m. they were still swimming. They were exhausted afterwards.”
All four of the Sloan youths were awarded trophies in honor of their completion of Skowron’s swim course. They were among a group of 23 kids that completed endurance swims.
Currently, Nova, Archie, Morrison and Vaughn are spending more time swimming and riding boogie boards in the ocean than in the pool.
“Swimming is the one sport they always go back to,” Lise said.