MEDINA, Ohio — The senior year of high school is supposed to be filled with special rights of passage, but the class of 2020 is dealing with confusion, concern and some sadness.
Ava Tenaglia, Juliette Keller and Harry Custer are among the fastest distance runners on the Medina High School track team. All three seniors have goals of competing at the state track meet in Columbus in June.
However, their season was put on indefinite hold after Governor Mike DeWine closed schools at least through April 6 due to the coronavirus outbreak. DeWine said it's possible schools will not re-open the rest of this school year.
The teens stressed they understand the importance of keeping people safe during the pandemic, but they're also feeling a sense of personal loss academically, athletically, and socially.
"Realistically, I think it's just hard to think about not having the opportunity to achieve the things we worked for," Tenaglia said. "I think it's really difficult and it's made my kind of look back and realize how much I take just seeing my friends every day for granted."
"I don't think we're going to go back," Keller added. "Definitely, it's heartbreaking."
Custer said he misses spending time with his classmates and bonding with his teammates.
"To me, school is a place where I get to see all of my friends in one place," Custer said. "It's a really unfortunate situation, but I mean, what am I going to do? Sit around for the next five months and complain about it?"
Many seniors across Ohio are wondering if they'll get to experience prom and graduation ceremonies.
"You think about that stuff your whole entire life and to come to the realization that it might not happen is just bizarre," Keller said.
In a FaceTime question and answer session with parents, Medina Superintendent Aaron Sable said the district is is looking at alternative summer dates for prom, which is currently scheduled for May 16 and commencement, which is slated for May 23.
"I don't have specific dates to share with you yet, but as soon as I do, I will make those available," Sable said.
For now, Tenaglia, Keller and Custer are doing their own workouts and preparing for on-line classes, while hoping part of their remaining season and school year can be saved.
"We're going to continue to stay positive. I'm still going to train. They haven't canceled running yet, so I'm still going to run. I'm going to train for the next thing when it comes," Custer said.