Just four years ago, Carol Pelosi strolled into the Greenbelt Sports Center and archery instructor Gil Frey shoved a crossbow at her and said, "Here, let's see you try this."
Three months later, Pelosi won her first of four straight Women's National Indoor Crossbow championships.
Pelosi, along with Sugar Ray Leonard, a gold metal boxing champion in the 1976 Olympics and recent winner in his professional boxing debut, were the only two four-time award winners at yesterday's fourth annual Prince George's Champions" held at the Sheraton Inn in New Carrolton.
The yearly event honors young Prince George's County residents who have acheived state or national recognition in an athletic event or contest.
But Pelosi, who will be 31 next month, is a "special exception" according to Joseph McDermott Jr., President of the PGCA.
"Usually we like our honorees to be 21 and under, but when we started, Carol was such an unusual champion we felt we should honor her," he said.
Pelosi has been a regular honoree since.
"I hope to come back next year, too," said Pelosi, a claims examiner for the Civil Service Commission. "The last one was kind of close, though. It wasn't easy."
The guest speaker of the affair, Jim Kehoe, University of Maryland athletic director, gave a 15-minute speech on declication, discipliline and leadership and received a standing ovation.
Leonard, who was scheduled to hand out awards with Pelosi, was in Puerto Rico doing a color commentary of a boxing match and unable to be present.
More than 275 people were on hand to watch 38 individuals and 18 teams receive plaques and certificates. The winners' skills ranged from archery to singing.
"We always look for something out of the ordinary," said McDermott, "although this year we were morelathletic-oriented than in the past. That's how the community can help us - inform us what the youth are doing."
Others repeaters included Donald Divver, the National drum solo champion, David McCless, the Junior Olympic intermediate wrestling champion, the Gwynn Park High basketball team and the Fairmont Heights track team.
When Bill Berndt, the junior amateur state archery champion, came up to receive his award, Rich Scott, former president of the organization and the master of ceremonies, turned to Pelosi and said, "now you have some competition."
Pelosi smiled and replied, "good."
A member of the Potomac Archers of D. C., Pelosi said not many of her friends are involved in the sport. One person who is and has done rather well is Pelosi's 58-year old mother. After only five months of instruction from her daughter, Mrs Pelosi went out and won the New Jersey State Crossbow title.
Award winners: arol Pelosi - Women's National Indoor and Outdoor Crossbow; Sugar Ray Leonard - Boxing Gold Medal in Olympics (1976); Donald Divver - National drum solo; Roxanna Baldea - Maryland State strutting champion; Lee Allen Calicut - World Champion baton twirler; Rob Setera - National junior drun solo - Jeannie Dingess - National dance twirl sols; Henry Wilson - East Coast mile run; Terri Ellis - East Coast 100 meter hurdles; Terry Matthews - Maryland State 100 yards; Davida Jackson - National junior Olympic world record one mile; Aileen O'Connor - National AAu Crosscountry and two-mile; Jill Hayworth - National Girls crosscountry; Betty Jo Labukas - Maryland State Junior Special Olympics 50 yards; Carol Byrd - Maryland State Short Put; Chuch Driessnack - Maryland State 880 yards; - William Gwinn - Maryland State 330 yard hurdles; Byron Kent Burno - National Postal Mile Run; Tony Ehman - Maryland State 880 yard; Linda Miller - National Junior Olympics 440 relay team; Butch Meggison - East Coast 330 hurdles; Wayne Mettison - East long jump.
Rod McKellar - East Coast high jump; Mellissa Hill - East Coast 220, 440; David Dowler - East Coast Invitational high jump; Billy Bernat - junior amateur state archery; Ken Larch and Paul Belanger - Maryland State High Shool Tennis; John Miller and Brian Winstead - All-American Junior College soccer; Robert Michael Jr. - East Coast punt, pass and kick; Chris Ishee - National Grange vocal talent; Bill Veater - Junior Olympic Regional Juco; Davic McCless - Junior Olympic intermediate wrestling.
The Team Champions: Camp Springs Soccer Club - Maryland State boys 16 and under and girls 19 and under; Camp Springs Boys/Girls Club - Laryland State girls soccer, age 12-14; Bowie Weebles/Girls Soccer Team - East Coast Regional; Prince George's Community College - Maryland Junior college soccer and tennis; Largo High - Maryland girls ABC girls track; Suitland High - Maryland State AA girls track; Friendly high - Maryland State AA boys cross country; Central High - Maryland State AA boys track and one mile relay; Fairmont Heights - Maryland State ABC boys indoore track; Bladenshurg High - Maryland State AA girls 440 relay team and basketball; Surrattsville High - Maryland State a 440 relay team; Largo High - Maryland State A football; Parkdale High - Maryland State AA boys basketball; Gwynn Park High - Maryland State B boys basketball.