On target Olympic archery hopefuls given boost by new state-of-the-art training center

Phillip Brents

Wed November 25, 2015 8:30pm

Chula Vista native Lauren Clamon first picked up a bow at an archery booth at the San Diego County Fair when she was 11. In less than three years, she was a national champion and now, as a resident-athlete at the Chula Vista-United States Olympic Training Center, has already competed at several international events.
Things continue to look up for the Olympic hopeful after October’s grand opening of the Easton Archery Center of Excellence on the sprawling 155-acre campus.
The 42,629 square-foot building features a 22,440 square-foot 70-meter indoor shooting range, two 90-meter outdoor shooting fields, fitness room, athlete lounge, offices, classrooms and conference rooms. Athlete housing is provided in an adjacent building to allow resident archers easy access to the new training facility and all its amenities, including access to ultra-high speed video, 3D imaging systems and other state-of-the-art technology.
The new complex, which is being touted as the world’s premier indoor training facility, allows for year-round training, even during inclement weather.
It is a gift from Jim Easton, chairman of Jas. D. Easton, Inc., the world’s largest archery equipment company, who has been described as archery’s greatest benefactor.
As president of the International Archery Foundation (FITA) from 1989 to 2005, Easton was elected as vice president of the International Olympic Committee in 2002 and has served as a member on the United State Olympic Committee and National Archery Association Foundation Board of Directors.
He said the new center is the culmination of years of planning devoted to the goal of providing leadership, facilities, programs, training and education for the growth and development of archery and a legacy that, in Easton’s words, will “allow archers from around the world to pursue their competitive dreams.”
Clamon, who began shooting in 2008, is among the young archers expected to benefit from the new complex. She appears o have a natural affinity for the sport; it didn’t take long for her to attract attention.
At 13, she was featured as the SportsKid of the Month in the March 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated Kids.
The honor was well deserved after she won the 2010 national championship in the recurve Cub female category, and set three Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) records and one FITA Star record. During that standout 2010 season, she also won gold medals at the California State Games and California State Archery Championship.
A member of the Junior Dream Team, Clamon has been a U.S. archery team member since 2012. She represented the United States at the 2011 World Archery Youth Championship in Legnica, Poland.
She also competed at the 2012 Pan Am Championships, winning a silver medal in the Junior Olympic round; gold and silver at 60 and 30 meters, and silver in the junior team round.
Now 18, Clamon currently competes in the women’s recurve division. She continues to rise up the ranks of the best in USA Archery after placing fifth overall in points at September’s U.S. Olympic Trials — just one point behind five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig.
Clamon has been a CV-OTC resident-athlete for four years. During that time, she graduated from high school, and has been accepted to MIT.
Her training schedule is fairly rigorous. She starts shooting at 8:30 a.m. and continues through noon when she takes a lunch break. She shoots a total of 300 arrows daily. Her training also includes running and weight lifting. She said competing in the sport has had a major impact on her life.
“Archery has helped me learn to manage my time and how to be responsible,” she explained. “I have made many new friends. Archery has also taught me how to meet new people and get along well with others.”
Clamon, whose interests include piano and video games, said she feels excited about the future of archery due to recent attention from such films such as “Brave,” “Hunger Games” and “Avengers.”
In fact, recent youth development competitions held on campus have doubled in the number of participants, especially at the middle school and high school age levels.
Clamon has helped provide a role model for that age group, especially during on-site demonstrations.
Both Olympic and Paralympic archers attended the Oct. 22 grand opening event of the new Easton Archery Center for Excellence along with community leaders and representatives from the United States Olympic Committee and the Easton Foundations.