Fourteen-year-old Eesim Oon of Durham's Bethesda Baptist Church practiced her Bible verses with Megan Russell for an hour each day before the national Bible Drill.
But the work was hardly tedious.
Eesim, who won first place in the national youth division for grades seven through nine, said Bible drills are fun on three levels.
"It helps us remember the verses that are important for our Christian walk," said Eesim, who was born in Penang, Malaysia.
"It's fun to be with our friends," she added.
And finally, "It's something we can be competitive about."
Eesim plans to continue Bible drilling and to compete in the high school division. Despite its competitive nature, Bible drills teach you good sportsmanship, Eesim said. "It's a very loving environment," she said.