A swim championship that was scheduled for Saturday, March 7, at the New Albany High School natatorium and seemed to be affiliated with the Arnold Sports Festival is canceled, according to an email sent Thursday, March 7, by the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
According to the email, the district confirmed the New Albany Masters Swim class, which regularly uses the pool for practice and intended to hold a swim competition for 50 people, might reschedule its event, but it will not be affiliated with the Arnold and will not be held as scheduled.
The competitors were not registered athletes in the Arnold, but "an affiliation to publicize their event as part of the festival was made," the email said.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced March 5 that the state health department has issued an order barring spectators from most events at this week's Arnold Sports Festival because of the potential threat of the coronavirus.
Superintendent Michael Sawyers said he received a call March 3 from Franklin County Public Health asking about a pool event at the high school that was to be held in affiliation with the Arnold.
Sawyers said after looking into it, he verified the swim event was not affiliated with the Arnold, but because it was billed as the Arnold Classic New Albany Swim Masters, it was picked up as part of the Arnold events, he said.
"There is no direct affiliation," he said.
But "given all the questions and confusion" surrounding the Arnold, Sawyers said, he did not want anyone perceiving the district is doing anything to create confusion relating to the event's cancellation.
He said he told the swim club members that they are free to reschedule an event not associated with the Arnold at a future date.