The OHSAA announced March 13 that it was postponing the start of spring sports because the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but for a variety of reasons that didn't sink in for Upper Arlington girls track and field standout Adrienne Wachtman for almost two weeks.
UA was on spring break the next week and would have not returned to school until March 24.
In addition, despite a three-week statewide shutdown of schools that will last at least through Friday, April 3, UA students were not scheduled to begin online classes until March 30.
The OHSAA instituted a no-contact period during the three-week shutdown of schools, although teammates can communicate and coaches are allowed to send their players suggested workouts. The earliest spring sports could begin under the initial ruling is April 11, following a five-day acclimation period.
Update: Gov. Mike DeWine announced March 30 that schools will remain closed through May 1.
Entering the week, Wachtman's senior season, in which she hoped to make her first trip to the Division I state meet, remained in jeopardy.
"UA was probably fortunate because we were on spring break last week, so we were buffered a little bit and out of school anyway," said Wachtman, a district champion in the discus last year who finished sixth in that event and eighth in the shot put at regional. "Before we went on lockdown, at least we got to work out some with our team. It's different not being with the team. Being self-motivated is harder. Uncertainty definitely is the way I'd describe it. It's really disappointing."
Fearing the worst, the UA girls lacrosse team treated its March 12 scrimmage against Olentangy Liberty like a regular-season game as parents quickly assembled a makeshift senior night.
"There's so much more time to think about it now that we should have been back in school and aren't and we're not having practice. There's that realization," said senior midfielder Ellena Schildmeyer, a Virginia recruit who was named first-team all-state and an All-American last year as the Bears won their fifth consecutive Division I state championship. "We lift each other up (as teammates). Everything we do is really working for the team, not just ourselves."
Schildmeyer works out regularly with her older sister, Olivia, a 2017 UA graduate who currently plays for Virginia. Bears players exchange workout pics and statistics in a group text, as well as informally clocking in and out.
The Wellington boys tennis team has won the past two Division II Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team championships and was set to bring back most of its lineup, including senior Trevor Ball after he placed fourth in the state singles tournament last season.
"During this down time, I've still been able to play tennis," Ball said. "I've been hitting outside as much as I can (when) it's not raining. It's been difficult because the weather is very unpredictable.
"I would obviously be very disappointed if we were unable to complete this season for many reasons. We've created a tennis dynasty here at Wellington. I can understand the cautions being made because this is a disease that's killing people. I would be heartbroken, but it's understandable if the season is canceled."
UA baseball player Philip Vilardo has filled his time with position-specific workouts handed out by coach Sam Clark. The team uses an online platform called Canvas, which includes what Vilardo called "a virtual dugout" of tasks to stay sharp.
"For me, it's all about my hands and getting them working. We have drills for short hops and to keep sharp. It really helps with my hand and foot work," said Vilardo, a junior who hopes to start either at second base or shortstop after lettering last season when the Bears won their first district championship since 2010 and finished as regional runners-up. "Our expectation is nothing less than what we did last year. Now, we're just trying to look forward and hold ourselves and everybody else accountable and make sure we don't fall behind."
Wachtman gave up AAU basketball last summer to focus on track. She hopes to compete in both sports either at Case Western Reserve or John Carroll.
"I've been on the cusp of making state two years in a row. This year, getting there is my focus," Wachtman said. "I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm realistic that we might not have (a season). If things are as bad as people say they could get it, that's my fear of what will happen. It would be really disappointing."
ThisWeek reporter Jarrod Ulrey contributed to this story.