AUDUBON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Laci Light picked up her first bow and arrow at the beginning of 2023 and six months later, the 9-year-old is a national archery champion!
Even more impressive, the Audubon, Montgomery County native says she had no idea she was even competing in a national tournament until she won.
At the Eastern 3D National Championship held in Illinois, a perfect score for hitting 20 targets is a 240.
Laci hit a 207 on the first day of the tournament, and a 200 on the second, making her the national champion for her age group.
"I was pretty excited," said Laci.
"I didn't even tell her the first day she was in the lead," said her mother, Nicole. "We didn't even tell her she was at nationals. She had no idea what she was doing."
Laci says she thought she was just shooting.
Broken down by age groups and gender, hundreds of archers must stand between 15-16 yards from their mark, and using a range finder must hit their target that's about two inches in diameter. The type of shot they take correlates with the number of points received.
Laci got into the sport after stopping by Limerick Bowman, an archery club in Montgomery County.
"We went to two practices and the coach said, 'Hey, you have something here. Come to our other practices which are twice a week with our team'," said her father, Ryan. "She just got better and better every time we went to practice."
Thanks to her coach Gary Gerhart, and lots of hard work, in six months, Laci started racking up win after win.
Laci says her next goal is to shoot all 12s.
She will be competing in small competitions to stay sharp over the summer.