Q&A with Cross Country's Karls '19 

Name: Michael Karls
Sport: Cross Country
Hometown: Festus, MO
Class: 2019
Major: Mathematics with Economics
Service Assignment (or hoped for): Navy Pilot 

What drew you to attending the USNA? I had always wanted to serve in the military at some level, and when I discovered the opportunity available here, that is, to get an amazing education while also striving to become an officer and serve the country, I knew that this was the only place that I wanted to be. 

How did you first become interested in your sport? My buddy in middle school dragged me to the first practice of the year. I didn’t really want to go, but for some reason, I stuck around and fell in love with it. 

What is something about the sport that most people don’t know / understand? A lot of times, we aren’t the hugest fans of running itself; we love the sport and the competition. 

What is the best part about your hometown? My family, friends, and dog. 

If you could play another sport, what would it be (and why)? Basketball; I grew up playing it and still love it. 

How has athletics shaped your Academy experience? Cross Country has given me countless friends, mentors, and opportunities that have influenced me both in my professional and personal life. 

Favorite place you have visited in your life, and why is it your favorite? Boulder, CO. It’s simply a gorgeous city with great people and great things to do. 

The best moment of your time here at the USNA (can be athletic or non-athletic) was … Going to the NCAA championships for Cross Country. 

Knowing what you do now, what would you tell yourself on Induction Day? Chill on the Boston cream’s at breakfast during the summer.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years? Flying; not sure whether I want it to be in the civilian or military, but flying nonetheless. 

If you were a superhero, what would your power be and why? I think aquaman-esque powers would be my go to; I am a pretty awful swimmer so it’d be a nice change of pace. 

What advice do you have for younger athletes who are interested in the Academy? Stay focused and keep working, as always, but don’t lose yourself in your pursuit to achieve your goals. Appreciate where you are, what you have, and who you have in your life now, and try not to think only of the next step in your life.