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High School Sports

Season Interrupted: Josette Odgers carries on the family tradition

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Josette Odgers

School: Santa Margarita

Sport: Swimming, freestyle

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Key stats: Captained two-time defending state champion girls’ swim team

Fall plans: Will attend UC San Diego

On the abrupt end to the season:

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“It was definitely confusing. We thought we’d probably be open the longest because there had been research done that [the virus] didn’t survive in chlorine, so we thought maybe pools would remain open.”

What she misses the most:

“I’m just missing my teammates. Having the team support you is the best thing. Our team was so close. We’ve been on a club team too. We’ve grown together for four years of high school.”

On her swimming history:

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“My brother and sister are two years older than me, and they started swimming when they were 2 years old. I saw them and always wanted to be in the pool. I wanted to be in the sport every single day, even though we have the hard 5 a.m. practices and the time-consuming workouts that make you question why you love it so much. I know it’s something I couldn’t live without.”

Simi Valley two-sport athlete Chase Aurand learned a valuable history lesson amid the coronavirus outbreak: ‘Don’t take going to practice for granted.’

On training without a pool:

“It’s really difficult. All pools are closed right now. We’ve been trying to do hill sprints and running as much as we can and doing workouts with whatever we find around the house, using water bottles and cans.”

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On the lessons she’s learned:

“I think the most important lesson is to be grateful for the opportunities we have. I know it’s hard when things are taken away from us that we expect to have for senior season, but I know we made the best of the times we had.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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