June 24, 2010
Incoming freshman thrower Derek Eager has been named the Gatorade Washington Athlete of the Year after an impressive senior campaign at Tahoma HS. Eager, a standout javelin and discus thrower, will join the Bruins in the fall.
In its 25th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Eager of Tahoma High School as its 2009-10 Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Eager is the first Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Tahoma High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Eager as Washington's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Eager joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, S.C.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior won the discus and javelin and placed second in the shot put at the Class 4A state meet this spring, leading the Bears to fourth place as a team. The 2009 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships javelin champion, Eager launched a throw of 229 feet, 5 inches at the Pasco Invitational on April 17, which ranked No. 3 in the nation among prep competitors at the time of his selection. Only eight high school athletes have ever thrown the javelin farther. Eager's best discus throw of 187-0 ranked No. 28 and his best shot put of 58-6.25 ranked No. 85 in the nation among prep competitors in 2010.
Eager has maintained an unweighted 3.73 GPA in the classroom. A Distinguished Honors graduate from Tahoma High, he has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as a camp counselor. Eager also organized and ran Washington's Best Throwers Camp, in which he brought several former Olympians to Seattle for a one-day clinic.