Courtesy of Ben Karlinsey
Over two hundred paddlers entered the USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint Team Trials in Oklahoma City. From April 24-25, these athletes pushed their way through multiple races competing for spots on this year’s national team.
With a time of four minutes and nineteen seconds, senior Ben Karlinsey placed fourth in the U18 division and qualified for the eight-person junior worlds training squad.
“At the training camps this June, I will be trying out for the two- or four-person kayaks,” Karlinsey said. “Then if I make it I get to go to the junior worlds competition in Portugal.”
In each of the past six years, Karlinsey has raced at the nationals competition. His successes are largely due to his year-long commitment toward improvement and training.
“I strive for consistent effort and consistent focus at all times,” Karlinsey said. “Every stroke I take can cement both good and bad habits in my muscle memory so it is important to be paying really close attention to technique at all times.”
During the summer he usually practices twice a day on Lake Washington or the Sammamish Slough. But even during the winter, he still tries to find time to practice and when the weather does not hold up, he heads to the weight room to bulk up.
“In college I cannot really see myself competing as much since it takes so much time,” Karlinsey said. “But I still will keep it as a hobby because it is great for fitness with minimal risk of injury.”