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For Seniors, the College Season's Sudden End Is a Uniquely Brutal Heartbreak

INDIANAPOLIS — Seeing very clearly where things were headed, I called my son Clayton at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Wanted to make sure he was O.K.

He’s a senior swimmer at Georgia, and his college career was coming to an abrupt, premature, heartbreaking, stunning end. His last meet as a Bulldog was supposed to be the NCAA championships in two weeks in Indianapolis, but the handwriting was on the wall. The cancellation was coming.

Clayton is smart but stoic, never giving up much emotionally, so the conversation was brief and fact-based. Over the course of the last couple days, as the coronavirus reaction turned into a wildfire that consumed everything in its path, he could foresee the likely outcome.