Positive COVID test forces swimmer to bow out of state competition

The state high school swim meet in Anchorage was derailed for Wrangell’s competitors last weekend when senior Renée Roberts tested positive for COVID-19.

Head coach Jamie Roberts (Renée’s mom) reported the test came back positive an hour before the second day’s competition began on Saturday.

“As a coach and a mom this was heartbreaking,” Roberts said. “After the 2020 season, we were looking forward to a season of competition. Renée had a goal to go to state four years in a row. She made it her first two years, then state was canceled in 2020. She made it again her senior year.”

Roberts said her daughter, who is fully vaccinated, woke up with a hoarse voice and slight congestion, both of which are common when swimmers switch from salt-based to chlorine-based pools. She said her daughter was concerned it could be COVID-19 and decided to get tested.

“She was most likely infected when she (stayed) in a hotel room during a school-sponsored trip earlier in the week,” Roberts said. All the people on the trip were tested before and during the trip, and they followed masking and social-distancing guidelines.

During Friday’s events, before dropping out, Renée Roberts placed fourth in preliminaries in the 50-yard freestyle, recording a personal best of 25.09. She placed sixth in preliminaries for the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.02. She advanced to Saturday’s finals in both events but had to bow out because of the positive test results.

Jack Roberts placed 11th in the 100-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 50.47.

“The lesson here is that it’s important to get tested when you have the slightest symptom, especially if you plan to be in an indoor place with others,” Jamie Roberts said, urging people to get vaccinated. She and her children are quarantining in Anchorage and hope to return to Wrangell in time for Thanksgiving.


In other high school sports, the volleyball team, slated to compete in Petersburg last weekend, rerouted their plans due to the high number of COVID-19 cases and shutdown orders there. Instead, the team traveled to Craig on Saturday and played two sets against Craig and Klawock.

Head coach Alyssa Allen reported the team won the first set, 25-18, and lost the second, 26-24 against Klawock. The team won its set against Craig, 25-20.

The next scheduled match is in Wrangell against Petersburg this weekend. There was no announcement as of Monday whether the matches would be canceled.


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