Easton Van Nuys Archery Center Excels at California State Indoor Championship


For Immediate Release

Time was not wasted before the newly formed Easton Van Nuys Archery Center made a mark on the archery tournament scene. The center, which opened in April 2011 by the Easton Foundations, sent a team of archers to the State Indoor Championship in Tulare, Calif., in January and brought home five medals. The team’s coach, Rene Paguia, was thrilled with the results.

“I think the team’s performance was good considering it was the first tournament for most of them,” Paguia said. “I worked with each individual to set a goal for this tournament and all of them accomplished that said goal.”

Members of the Easton Van Nuys Archery Center team swept the medal categories in the Women’s Cadet Recurve division. Amanda Tomayo’s score of 1046 earned her the gold medal, while Katie Hershey-Van Horn took silver and Lindsey Leino won bronze.

In the Men’s Bowman Division, Easton Van Nuys Archery Center member Kyle Acal tallied a score of 932 to take home the silver medal and his teammate, Ara Hekiman Brogan, won the bronze medal.

Acal’s interest in archery began two years ago when he was 9. After seeing the “Chronicles of Narnia” movie series, he asked his dad, Derrick, if he could become involved in the sport. Acal begin training at Woodley Park and was approached by Paguia while he was practicing there.

“The guidance of Rene [Paguia] has made Kyle better,” Derrick Acal said. “The center teaches proper form and fundamentals, and that has been a big reason for Kyle’s success.”

The State Indoor Championship was the fourth tournament the 11-year-old has competed in and has placed well in all of them. “Kyle’s primary focus is devoted to school and archery,” Derrick Acal said. “He is always striving to become better with each competition.”

Bronze medal winner Lindsey Leino caught the attention of Paguia the same way Acal had. Although this event was her first, Leino hopes to build off of the momentum gained there and continue to rise as a competitive archer.

Leino’s father, Mark, introduced 14-year-old Lindsey to the sport one year ago, shortly after getting involved in the sport himself. “One day we were training at Woodley Park and Rene [Paguia] spotted her shooting, commented on her form and asked if she would be interested in training at the Easton Van Nuys Archery Center,” Mark Leino said.

Lindsey, who was already well versed in the concentration and focus that archery demands thanks to her time spent earning a black belt in karate, began training at the Van Nuys Center. She has her sights set on more competitions and hopes to continue shooting through college.

“We met some of the collegiate archers at the State Indoor Championship and learned about the collegiate programs,” Leino said. “We were told about the difference in the sport at the club and varsity level of college athletics from a competitor on the Columbia University team.”

Columbia University is one of the few schools in the country that fields a varsity athletic team, but Lindsey’s father said they would be looking into schools at the club level, too. But Lindsey doesn’t want to stop with collegiate dreams; she already has her eyes set on the Olympics.

Lindsey looks up to Academy Award winning actress and women’s Olympics archery team semi-finalist Geena Davis. Davis was introduced to the sport only two years before her Olympic tryouts. Lindsey’s performance at the State Indoor Championship may just be the beginning of a road that leads to the Olympics.

Only time will tell, but Lindsey and her dad feel the discipline, focus and mental toughness the sport teaches will help meeting her other career goal of one day working for the CIA, an ambition that stems from her enjoyment of law enforcement.

“We are very appreciative of the support from Don Rabska [vice president of Easton Foundations], the Easton Foundations and their coaches,” Leino said.

Coach Paguia gives credit to the hard work that each individual archer has shown, parental support, the tools and facilities offered by the Easton Foundations and the guidance of Don Rabska. “Next for the team is to improve on their NTS (National Training System) form and prepare for the coming Indoor National Tournament slated for February 24,” Paguia said.

For more information on the Easton Foundations, a full listing of our programs, grant recipients, and/or information on the grant selection process please go to our website at EastonFoundations.org or contact Ms. Idida Briones at (818) 901-0127 ext. 202 or via email at ibriones@esdf.org .

About the Easton Foundations:

The Easton Foundations’ aim is to keep archery a viable part of the sporting culture in communities across the United States. The Foundation was created in 1982 by Jim Easton, the founder and former CEO of Easton Sports, Inc, in preparation for the 1984 Olympics. The Foundation actively works to introduce the Olympic sport of archery to communities across the country. It supports the training of aspiring archers, trainers, coaches, and administrators and building of indoor and outdoor archery facilities at city parks, schools, universities and sports complexes.

The Easton Foundations encourages and engages youth to participate and develop skills in the sports of archery, baseball, softball, ice hockey, and cycling. It contributes to selected 501(c)(3) charitable groups and universities that share its vision of excellence and innovation in sports programs, business and engineering education, and medical research.

Written by Steve Miller for the Easton Foundations

Photo Credit:  Joad Parent