Ben Linford, Senior Lake City High School
At 17, Lake City High School senior and star swimmer Ben Linford has achieved notable success as an athlete, academic and musician.
"In athletics, I have secured 2nd and 3rd place for our boys' swim team at the state level,” Ben says. “For two consecutive years, I earned 3rd place in the 100 backstroke, in addition to achieving top-8 finishes in my other events.”
His dedication has led him to numerous Western Zone championships. “I’m honored to have been nominated for the Idaho Hall of Fame in swimming,” he says.
Ben serves as captain for both the high school team and local swim team. “Coeur d’Alene Swim Team (C.A.S.T) has given me leadership opportunities and a chance to serve others,” he says.
“One lesson I’ve learned from my sport is, as coach Shelly says, ‘You’ve gotta want it.’ In order to be successful as an individual, as well as a team, you have to be more motivated and more driven to win than your opponents,” Ben says. “You can train longer and harder than other teams, but if you don’t want it as much as them, you're simply not going to perform to your full potential.”
Ben says sports have also helped him hone his mental focus. "Oftentimes, I got overly nervous about my races and hyper-focused on the 'What if?' With the help of my amazing parents, I was able to get over this hurdle and focus on my races from a different perspective, allowing me to improve mentally and physically."
Ben is in the top five students in his class, holding a 4.2 GPA.
“Beyond the classroom, I co-founded and preside over a study club at our school, while holding membership in the National Honor Society,” he says. He passed three AP tests for college credit, scored 94th percentile on the SAT, and has earned the Idaho Top Scholar award. In music, he proudly serves as the orchestra's president and occupies the first chair position as a cellist.
Upon graduation, Ben plans to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He plans to join the swim club team there and study engineering with an emphasis in aerospace engineering. “I'm interested in working with math, science and technology in order to design, create and improve mechanical designs, specifically on spacecraft," Ben says.
Ben says his favorite part about his sport is the team environment. “I love being able to support my teammates in achieving their own goals and see them improve as athletes and people. With that, making memories with friends and enjoying the relationships I have built is more rewarding than any medal that I could receive.”