It seemed surreal as Jackson Flower finally signed his national letter of intent.
Later this year, he will graduate from Wayne Country Day and officially end one of the best chapters of his athletic career.
However, it is only just beginning for the highly-decorated senior, who set a new standard on the swimming scene at Wayne Country Day.
Flower signed to swim at Washington and Lee University next fall.
He went on a tour of other schools but admitted that the DIII school, located in Lexington, Virginia, quickly became his dream choice.
“It feels great, and it’s finally nice to have something in paper, and I’m looking forward to the next four years,” Flower said. “I found Washington and Lee about a year ago, and it really stuck out to me. I talked with the coach while I was there, and I kept in touch, so as I got closer to recruitment, I looked at them as a serious possibility.
“Eventually, Washington and Lee became my number one choice.”
The Generals’ men’s swimming team captured its sixth consecutive Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship last season.
It is the perfect fit for Flower, who was named to the Coastal Plains Independent Conference all-conference team and was the CPIC swimmer of the year. Flower is the first Wayne Country Day swimmer to sign a national letter of intent since 2002.
He finished runner-up in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship meet last season.
Flower, who plans to become a lawyer after graduating from college, is also a Goldsboro YMCA National Swim Team member.
“I didn’t know I was the first swimmer to sign since 2002, and it’s an honor to be able to keep that going,” Flower said.
Flower’s coach and mother, Kristie Flower, said that her son would keep improving to become a better swimmer. She added that his heart and determination to succeed are the most significant assets he will carry to Washington and Lee.
“I’m incredibly proud of him,” Kristie Flower said. “Jackson, in the last three years, has really developed into quite a competitive swimmer. He’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to sprinting, and I think it’ll serve him well when he gets to college.”
And Flower is ready to achieve his best in and out of the pool when he finally gets to Washington and Lee.