EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. (KTXL) — For athletes at Oak Ridge High School, diving back into swim practice was a bright spot in what’s been a dark year.
After having to sit out racing in 2020 due to the pandemic, the girls and boys team happily paddled their way to five swim meets in 2021.
“I started getting texts from kids on Sunday night and it just seemed like it kept coming one by one until the day before the meet,” said Kim Standal, head swim coach.
As of Monday, the school reported 245 students in quarantine after possibly being exposed to 19 students who tested COVID-19 positive in class. Which forced a handful of graduating seniors to cut their swim season short.
“I was just heartbroken for these kids. Especially having it be, I think it was 7 out of the 10 of them being seniors and not being able to compete was just heartbreaking to see. Not only for them, but also for the morale of the team that were there able to compete. It was tough to watch,” Standal said.
Coach Standal says none of her swimmers tested positive for COVID-19 but those potentially exposed still had to keep out of the water.
“It was a sad weekend for those who didn’t get to compete,” said one senior swimmer’s mother who chose not to be identified.
She said her senior was notified to quarantine just one day before his last high school meet.
“Having to miss out on this last league championship for my son was a big blow considering he was healthy and tested negative for COVID,” she said.
Her son helped the boys’ team swim to second place at the state championships in 2019 and together the team hoped to make an even bigger splash in 2021.
“We definitely would have given them a run for their money, for sure,” Standal said.
Despite being down 10 key swimmers, the men’s team still managed to place third in the Sierra Foothill League Championships just 16 points behind the second-place finisher.