Eight-year-old Sydney Bachta came home the other day with what she describes as a “big heavy medal.”

Sydney is the competitive ninja daughter of competitive ninja father, Dr. Steven Bachta, a pediatric hospitalist at Evanston Hospital.

Evanston Now has chronicled Doc-ta Bachta (as he’s know in in ninja world), who has appeared three times on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior.”

For the uninitiated (un-ninja-tiated?), competitive ninja is an obstacle course beyond all obstacle courses, where participants jump, climb, hang, and — if things don’t go exactly right — fall.

Dad and Sydney competed last month in the World Ninja Championships, in Greensboro, North Carolina, along with thousands of others.

Unlike the TV show, the Worlds are divided into age categories.

Steve Bachta performing at the World Ninja Championships.

Steve, 42, came in 15th out of about 100 in the “adult masters” (40+) group.

Sydney scored 20th out of 120 among 6-8 year old girls.

Those were overall scores, combining various events.

There are also scores for specific individual events. That’s where Sydney won her first place medal in the Power Skills category, which Dad described as “jumping between vertical columns like a cat,” before pushing a buzzer at the end.

Sydney Bachta with her first place medal.

Despite her first place medal, competitive Sydney said of all of the events combined, “I probably want to do it again and do even better.”

Steve, too, is up for more.

“I don’t think I’m peaking yet,” he said, after just missing a medal in the “very tricky” Technical Skills category by coming in 4th in that individual event.

Not bad for both, considering they’ve only been doing ninja for about three years.

“We just saw it on TV and we wanted to do it,” said Sydney.

“And so we did it.”

Both compete locally in the Chicago area, and they’re likely to have company with another Bachta.

Sydney’s five-year-old sister Logan is taking up the sport as well, so watch out.

“Logan is coming up fast,” Steve said.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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