Benjamin Lindsey IV had already locked down a qualifying mark for the California Community College Athletic Association State Track & Field Championships, but the 2017 Lathrop High alumnus wasn't satisfied yet.
Then in mid-March, the state-imposed stay-at-home order ended his red-shirt sophomore season at Delta College. Just as he was rounding into form, especially in the javelin throw — his specialty event.
While certainly disappointed, this isn't new territory for Lindsey. His freshman year was cut short by an ankle injury, and just as he did then Lindsey is now using this extra time off from competition to prepare the challenges to come.
Although he did not get to compete at the JUCO state meet, Lindsey's early-season effort and work ethic helped him land a spot with NCAA Division II Humboldt State. He has not stopped training during the coronavirus shutdown and plans to be in tip-top shape by the time he arrives on the Arcata campus in mid-August.
“Every problem has a solution,” Lindsey said, a refrain he lives by for when adversity strikes. “I looked at this as an early offseason. The week after they announced that our season was over, I went back to throwing and training to get ready for the upcoming season.”
In 2019, Lindsey advanced to the NorCal meet but peaked earlier in the season as he was again beset by injury. His top throw during his red-shirt freshman campaign with 162 feet, 9 ¼ inches, good for first place in the Kim Duyst Invitational at Stanislaus State.
This year, Lindsey topped that distance in just the third meet, launching it 170 feet for a runner-up finish in the Trell's 49er Invitational at Yuba College. That mark was the sixth best in the state this season.
“It was the last event of the day and the sun was coming down,” Lindsey said. “In the throwing events, you have to get your throws in when the sun is still up so we were kind of pressed for time. Everybody had gathered around and there were a lot of my teammates cheering me on. It was a great feeling.”
The following week, he had a chance to defend his 2019 crown in the Kim Duyst Invitational in Turlock. He wound up taking fifth with a throw of 155-6.
Then the season ended. The Mustangs were set to compete in Modesto Junior College's Jack Albiani Invitational on March 13, but that was canceled.
Lindsey has taken advantage of the downtime, both from his injuries the past two seasons and now. He has focused on his studies and is proud of his 3.45 grade point average. He has his associates degree in political science, which he will continue to study at Humboldt State.
“It's a great college and a beautiful location,” Lindsey said I've heard great things about the environment, the coaches and the team. When they offered me I immediately accepted.
“One thing about them is that they want to get to know who is coming into their team, and they're big on the character of their athletes. I think it's a great fit for me.”