Lee County Archer Aims at World Championship

Lee County Archer Trellis Whaley aims at only one color with the bow and arrow.

The thinly-lined bright yellow in the middle of the target might as well be the fourth grader's favorite color. It certainly was at last weekend's National Archery Tournament.

"Before I would even shoot, I would be looking at everyone while they were shooting and they would be hitting all yellow...and I would be like "I got to hit this," Whaley said.

In only two years of shooting the bow and arrow competitively, Whaley is hitting her target more often than most.

The fourth grader scored a 278 out of 300 possible points at the Louisville, Kentucky tournament topping 231 other fourth grade girls for the National Archery Championship.

"She's been shooting ever since the third grade, and normally I don't have a lot of third graders on my when she shot I actually said "man, she's going to be good," Lee County Elementary Archery Coach Teresa Cherry said.

Whaley isn't just good, but a champion aiming for bigger and better things in the world of competitive archery.

As for being the best female archer at the fourth-grade level, a smile is as close as she'll get to bragging, but that didn't stop her classmates from a celebration.

"Oh it's amazingâ|I cried. It's just wonderful and the support she's gotten from the school...they had her a little popsicle party with signs in the halls," Cherry said.

The party continues for Whaley as she practices for the World Archery Championships set for October in Orlando, Florida. However, grander plans are on the horizon if Whaley continues to pound the bullseye.

"After high school...that's Olympics. I think that's one of her goals. I don't think she told you that...but if she keeps going on like she's doing, she'll do it," Cherry said with a beaming smile.