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Season Interrupted: Middlebury-bound Riley Griffis can hang in the deep end

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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: Riley Griffis

School: Los Angeles Loyola

Sport: Swimming

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Key stats: Competed in the 200 and 500 freestyle for the powerhouse Southern Section Division 1 Cubs

Fall plans: Will attend Middlebury (Vt.) College

UCLA-bound hurdles standout Aiden Lieb envisions a future teaching others: ‘I want to be that support system that believes in young athletes.’

On the day everything changed:

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“We had a meet at the end of the day. We had our suspicions the season could be postponed due to the virus getting bad. We all wanted that meet done so we could have one last chance to compete together. But unfortunately, the school had to cancel it by the end of the day. That was very hard to accept.”

On being away from the pool:

“I’ve been swimming competitively since I was 11, 12 years old. I only receive a one-week break during Christmas and a two-week break in the summer, so this time away from swimming has been tough. It’s something I’ve never seen before in my life. This time away has revealed to me I have a lot of passion and love for the sport. I wasn’t sure I was going to swim in college before this time. The time away has shown it’s something I need to function.”

On going to school in Vermont and hitting the slopes:

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“I’m definitely going to try. I’ve only skied a couple times in my life.”

What he’s been doing with his free time:

“I’ve been trying to explore my neighborhood. I take long walks with my dog and my parents every day and take bike rides. I’ve been reading a lot.”

Santa Margarita’s Josette Odgers finds solace in winning two state swimming titles before the coronavirus shutdown: ‘We made the best of the times we had.’

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On life without sports:

“It’s very difficult. My daily schedule and daily routine has been altered in a drastic way. I like to watch sports in every category all the time.”

How he stays in shape:

“It’s a big disadvantage for swimmers because many don’t have access to a pool. Starting last week, my pool heated to a temperature safe to swim in. Before that, I tried to run a few miles.”

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Where he sees himself in 10 years:

“I want to go to college to find any deeper interests. I want to study econ.”

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


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