Karlee Burmaster's passion for water skiing was born on the Eatonbrook Reservoir when she was only five years old. Now, that passion and dedication to the sport has earned her a medal in the National Championship.

Over the weekend Burmaster competed in the GOODE National Championship in West Palm Beach, Florida. Over 700 skiiers from all over the country, from ages 7 to 87, competed at Okeeheelee Park. The tournament brings in over 700 competitors in three different events including slalom, jump and trick skiing. Burmaster traveled south to compete in the slalom event.

Photo Credit -- Rebecca Burmaster

Burmaster had been preparing for this tournament all year. In order to compete at this level, one has to qualify. To qualify, you have to compete in several regional tournaments. Each score you get at those tournaments goes into an average and you have to meet or exceed the average set for your division to qualify. Her travels have taken her to Tennessee, Alabama and all over. Burmaster tells WIBX, "Last year was my first nationals ever, so this year I knew more of what to expect and how to better prepare myself both mentally and physically."

Photo Credit -- Rebecca Burmaster

At the conclusion of competition, Burmaster placed 3rd in the nation for her age group. Though she's not yet on the "professional" level, this is still a huge accomplishment. Burmaster says, "For me personally, placing 3rd fuels me. I’ve dedicated a lot of time, energy and money into being the skier I am right in this moment and I’m thankful for where I am. But, I always want to be better and keep improving." She went on to say, "I will continue to train for more tournaments until it gets too cold. My off-season is the winter months, although last winter I took trips periodically to Florida to keep my “ski muscles” in some sort of shape for the summer season."

So what's next for Burmaster? The future is bright for the CNY native and this accomplishment for her opens the door to a number of possibilities, but right now she's enjoying the moment. Burmaster says, "This pushes me to see what else I’ve got in the tank and see where I can go with it all." We may see Karlee on a professional level someday. There is no question Burmaster is passionate about the sport. From that little girl on Eatonbrook Reservoir to the competitor she is today, one thing remains the same and that is hard work.

Burmaster works as a personal trainer and coach at O.B. Training and Sports Performance. She lives for helping others reach their personal fitness goals and encourages them by example in her own determination. Congratulations Karlee! You've made Central New York proud.