Back in January, Lydia Martins and more than 60 other Wapsie Valley students started shooting archery.
"Mostly because my brother, he does archery and obviously he was gonna do it so he encouraged me, too," said Lydia Martins.
The 11-year-old is a natural at archery, according to her coach Angie Auel. Auel and her husband started Wapsie Valley Archery this year.
"I think she just has a passion for it, and she really has a lot of natural talent that comes through in shooting. I do not take credit for her at all," said Angie Auel.
All the students on the team qualified for the National Archery in the Schools Program Iowa State Championships in Des Moines on March 2nd.
With just two months of practice under her belt, Lydia Martins earned the elementary level, female state title.
"Did you think you'd be this successful? No," said Martins.
At state, 850 archers competed from 26 different schools. The archers shot a total of 30 arrows with half from 10 meters and half from 15 meters. Lydia scored 271 points out of a possible 300 to earn her state title.
The sixth grader now moves on to nationals in May. She plans to follow the same strategy as she did for state.
"Lots of practice," said Lydia Martins.
What makes Lydia's win even more impressive is she almost didn't make it to the competition. Lydia suffers from cystic fibrosis, which means she gets chronic lung infections. Treating the infections requires in-patient, IV treatments for about 14 days. She got an infection two weeks before state archery and just got out of the hospital in time to compete.
"We were discharged from the hospital in Iowa City about 3:30 p.m. and we headed to Des Moines the next morning," said Mom Janice Martins.
Lydia hadn't picked up a bow for two weeks, but she still shot her personal best. She earned Wapsie Valley Archery its first state championship in its first year of competing.
The national archery competition is May 10th and 11th in Louisville, Kentucky. Lydia said her goal is to get 282 points out of 300.
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