After making the United States' World Cup rowing team a couple months ago, Devery Karz' career has continued to improve.
Now the Park City High School graduate will head to Amsterdam, where she and her rowing partner, Michelle Sechser, will compete in the 2014 World Rowing Championships beginning Aug. 23.
The road to get to the World Championships wasn't easy for Karz and Sechser, though they gained a lot of experience along the way.
"We came back [to the U.S.] after the World Cup in France, where we placed eighth there," Karz said. "That wasn't necessarily what we wanted to do, but we learned a lot from it."
The eighth-place finish meant the duo still had some work to do in order to qualify for worlds.
"When we got back to the U.S., we raced last Wednesday to solidify a spot for the World Championships," Karz said.
Those races were part of the U.S. Time Trials, which were held in Princeton, New Jersey.
"All the boats in our category [light women's doubles] that want to go to World Championships go to those time trials," Karz said. "We flew back from the World Cup in France and pretty much trained here [in Princeton] until trials."
What did Karz and Sechser learn about international racing that gives them confidence heading into worlds at the end of this month?
"When everyone comes off the starting blocks, nobody settles," Karz said. "What we learned in France is that people start fast and don't slow down. Internationally, you start fast and you just push.
After all, she added, these are the top racers in the world.
"It's at the point where the people we're going up against are extremely good at what they do," she said. "No one is here by luck everyone earned their spots here. It's just going out and putting down the fastest run we can."
Going up against the reigning Olympic champions will be a good test of where they stand, Karz said.
"The British are kind of the favorites," she said. "It's the Olympic doubles team that won gold in 2012. But within three seconds of that boat are another eight crews. It's an extremely competitive field."
Karz and Sechser don't know a lot about how the Amsterdam course races, but they know a little bit about its logistics.
"This is a manmade course," Karz said. "It is exactly eight lanes and nothing more. The starting dock is on land. Normally they have boats inside a lake holding the racing shells in place until the start.
"It's a rectangle that is maybe 2,100 meters long. It's only purpose is for racing 2,000 meters in a racing shell."
That will create a couple challenges not found in natural bodies of water, she added.
"You're going to have a lot of unnecessary wake, which is the nature of the course," she said. "Just knowing that helps us prepare for it so we aren't caught off guard."
Karz and Sechser leave the country on Friday to head to Amsterdam. Karz said she can't wait to see what they can do on the prestigious stage of the World Championships.
"Outside of the Olympic year, this is the race you want to go to," she said. "It's really exciting for us to be going. We would like to improve upon our results at the World Cup and we would always like to make the 'A' final for the race. Obviously, we want to win, but [making the 'A' final] is a small goal we have."
The final rounds of the 2014 World Rowing Championships can be streamed live at www.usrowing.org . The finals will be split between Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31. Photos of the races can be viewed at www.row2k.com .