Reporting Rachel Slavik
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — An 11-year-old Bloomington girl is making quite the name for herself in pool halls across the state.
April Larson recently took second place in her first national billiards competition. She started playing after tagging along with her dad to his pool games. It soon became obvious that she had a natural talent for the sport.
It’s a game of precision and skill and can take years to perfect. But, Larson is breaking stereotypes that age makes a difference.
“I just try to play the best I can,” she said.
A three-year veteran of the sport, she looks like a pool shark in the making.
“I have a passion for the game and I know how to play it. I just want to stick with this,” Larson said.
Larson’s dad, Dave, said it’s a joy just to watch her in action.
“To just sit back and watch what she does at 11 is awesome,” he said.
With her dad to give her encouragement and guidance, Larson recently started taking on kids from across the country — and that’s where she surprised everyone.
At the national tournament, Larson switched from a small table, to the larger 9-foot table and she switched her game from eight-ball to nine-ball. It normally takes months of practice, she just had weeks.
“I was nervous about that. She showed me it doesn’t matter the game she can shoot pool,” her dad said.
All it takes is dedication.
“I thought if I worked hard I could get it down,” she said.
She’s not only beating kids her age, she’s also taking on adults. Larson often competes against her dad and his friends — and wins.
“I can’t wait for the day when I can’t beat her. That’s all I want,” Dave said.
At the national competition, Larson also challenged Jeanette Lee, also known as the black widow. Larson said she came close to defeating the pool pro.