There are still trails for runners, hoops for shooters, seams to grip for pitchers, but no chlorinated haven for swimmers.
“Oh crap,” Broomfield swimmer Harrison Lierz realized. “I actually have to do something outside of the water.”
That’s going to take some adjustment.
With pools closed across the state due to the coronavirus and intensifying orders for the public to stay in isolation, swimmers have been forced to adapt without their sport’s lone necessity.
Area swim venues including Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center, which holds the state championships, is on hiatus until at least April 17 in congruence with all Adams 12 Five Star Schools buildings. Boulder recreation centers are on pause until at least March 29, according to its outgoing phone message.
For masters of the high school waters, this can feel a bit like being left out to dry.
Lierz, who is committed to Tennessee, was dominant last spring as he won the 200 IM, the 100 backstroke and anchored the Eagles to another gold in the 200 freestyle relay in last year’s 4A state meet. But for now, he must adjust to dry land.
He said in doing so his club coaches at Elevation Athletics sent him an alternate training regimen since pools began shutting down in Colorado at the start of last week. This way, he noted, he stays active and can work on things like strength and core.
Some days he’ll go on a bike ride or for a run.
“I felt probably the most sore in my legs than I have in a while,” he cracked. “And I didn’t even run that long.”
The fluctuating day-to-day is a microcosm of the effect COVID-19 has had on the country and the measures that have been taken because of it. The bigger picture remains debated and largely unknown.
In the athletic arena, three of the country’s largest professional sports leagues are suspended with no return date set for baseball, hockey or basketball. And the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed earlier this week for what could be an entire year.
In Colorado, CHSAA has pushed the freeze on the spring season to April 18, but made clear changes may arise as the state, country and globe’s response on the pandemic remains fluid.
For area swimmers and for its senior stars — like Boulder’s Max Kreidl, Legacy’s Lukas Miller, all of whom were named to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-American list after their golden years last spring — all they can do for now is adjust.
“I haven’t swum in a week since the pool closed,” said Kreidl, who is expected to swim at Princeton next season. “I’ve just been biking and hiking and doing some core workouts at my house. But I also haven’t been too concerned about making (swimming) super serious. I know everyone else is out of the water, too, and there’s more important things going on.”
Club swimming meets are also on pause. All levels of sectionals and championships listed on USA Swimming’s list of domestic events had been cancelled or postponed into May.