When Lainey Jackson started playing high school golf her freshman year at Seymour, she started to fall in love with the sport.
By the time her junior year was starting, she knew she wanted to play at the next level.
Now, nearing the end of her senior season, Jackson officially committed to Indiana University East to continue her golf career.
“Freshman year, I noticed that I loved the sport and I was getting better,” Jackson said. “I kept getting better and better, and beginning of junior year, I knew I wanted to play in college.”
Jackson officially signed her national letter of intent on Tuesday afternoon in the Seymour High School cafeteria. She was surrounded by her family, her teammates on both the golf and basketball teams and her coaches.
“Seeing all the support around me from the girls I play basketball with to the golf team and my friends, it was really nice to see knowing they have my back,” Jackson said.
Jackson took an official visit to IU East at the end of this past summer. After the visit, she went back a couple of weeks later to watch the Red Wolves compete in a tournament, and that’s when Jackson decided to tell head coach Billy Mullin she wanted to commit there.
“As soon as I got there, I fell in love with the campus,” Jackson said. “The girls were really nice, and the coach was really supportive, so that kind of made it a done deal.”
Mullin was in attendance for Jackson’s signing on Tuesday.
Jackson also knew one of the girls on the IU East squad, and that’s Liv Sanders, who played at Bedford North Lawrence. Sanders will be a junior next year when Jackson is a freshman.
Jackson also knows Jennings County’s Sophia Curry is currently verbally committed to play golf at IU East, so there could potentially be three Hoosier Hills Conference golfers on the Red Wolves roster next fall.
“It’s really exciting being able to play competitive golf past high school,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be really interesting to get into a new dynamic with college golf.”
Jackson is currently in the midst of her senior year with the Owls, where she has managed to shoot her personal-best scores for both nine holes and 18 holes.
Just this past Saturday, Jackson won the individual sectional championship, shooting an 80 at Otis Park Golf Course and beating BNL’s Chloe McFaddin in a playoff. The victory made Jackson a two-time sectional champion in her Owl career.
She feels like this is the best and most consistent golf she has played in her career, and that’s due in large part to the work she put in over the summer.
“I lengthened my swing, so that really got me more distance and more consistency,” Jackson said. “Just going out and practicing and playing in tournaments all summer just got me in a consistent swing for this season.”
At IU East, Jackson plans to major in biochemistry, where she wants to go into medical school and become a pediatrics doctor. Jackson is currently interning at Schneck Medical Center, where she is working in pediatrics.
“I always wanted to do something in the medical field,” she said.
But first, Jackson will be competing in the regional this Saturday at Country Oaks Golf Club in Montgomery. The Seymour senior hopes to extend her season by one more week after this weekend.
“My goal is to make it to state,” Jackson said. “I feel like I just really need to focus this week for practice. It’s a possibility.”