A local middle school student is on her way to the state finals of the annual Elks Hoop Shoot, a national free-throw shooting competition.

Jillian Goodnow, 13, of Sullivan advanced last Saturday by winning the South District contest in Rochester. She made of 16 of her 25 attempts to best the field in her age group.

The state championship is Jan. 26 in Franklin.

Goodnow, who attends Keene Middle School, first advanced through a local qualifier hosted by Lodge 927 in Keene.

The competition consists of each player attempting 25 free throws in alternating sets of 10 and 15 attempts at a time. Ties are settled with frames of five free throws in the same shooting order until a winner is determined.

Participants have the chance to advance to district, state, regional and national competitions. Ultimately, regional winners advance to the national championship in Chicago.