By Vern Glenn

(KPIX 5) — In a matter of days, all major professional and amateur sports — from the NBA to Little League baseball — were put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The virus has effectively leveled the playing field for all athletes who are trying to figure out how to stay in shape and keep their heads in the game at the same time.

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“Right now you can’t really do anything, the pools are closed,” said Victor Sowa, a swimmer at UC Santa Cruz.

Sowa is one of hundreds of thousands of NCAA athletes that had their seasons cut short by the virus.

Determined to stay active, Sowa and fellow high school swimmer Henry Harlow have turned to surfing. Today KPIX found them with their boards in the frigid waters off the Sausilito coast where there’s plenty of room for social distancing.

“You put in a lot of work for nothing,” said Sowa who would have just now been finishing his season for the Banana Slugs.

Swimming is a winter sport, but the NCAA plans to grant another year of eligibility for spring athletes — 14 sports total for all three divisions. The details are still being worked out.

Occidental College golfer Nick Friedman is hoping for a favorable decision.

“You don’t know how long this is going to take,” the Tam High School product said.

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Friedman would have been competing until the end of April, instead he’s back home, reduced to the driving range at Marin Country Club.

“I was supposed to be in LA at Brookside GC,” he said. “It would have been a good place for me to win something.”

Friedman plans to transfer to Sonoma State in the fall, but hopes to stay sharp for the 2021 season.





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