By Lillie Williams, Voiland College intern
“Just a few more feet.”
An Olympic-sized dream is inching closer to becoming a reality for Brock Eager.
Eager, captain of Washington State University’s Track and Field team, is hoping to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in the hammer throw event. The hammer throw is a technical sport in which a competitor spins and throws a 16-lb. ball connected by a four-foot wire and handle.
Last year, he qualified for the U.S. Championships, throwing his personal best distance of 69.57 meters, or about 228 feet. To automatically obtain the Olympic A standard and qualify for the Olympics, he will need to throw 77 meters.
Eager, from Renton, Wash., first realized that the Olympics were an attainable goal when he was a junior at Tahoma High School.
“I saw the progress I made and realized that if I can continue like that, the Olympics could happen one day, which kept me motivated to work hard,” he said.
Eager has always been interested in track and field and has been throwing since he was a child. His father is a high school track and field coach, and Eager carefully watched him instruct many athletes, observed numerous practices, and went to many meets. His father’s friend introduced him to the hammer throw. He enjoys the sport because it is one of the more technical events – always keeping him engaged.
“It’s a weird movement – twirling around a 16-lb. ball – but some of my best throws feel effortless,” he said. “It’s like the ball is holding you up, and it’s almost like you’re floating. You don’t feel anything.”
While striving towards his Olympic goals, Eager also works hard in the classroom. A construction management major, he keeps a positive attitude when faced with tough projects, such as his bid project.
The project mimics the bid procurement for an actual construction project. Students work in teams and organize all the concrete flatwork, coming up with prices on scopes of work.
“It was stressful and challenging, but it kept me on my toes,” he said. “The challenge kept me interested and motivated me to finish the project.”
Eager enjoyed seeing the project from start to finish. He also likes group projects because he can work with many different people. He knows the importance of teamwork – both from working in group projects in the classroom and from being captain of the track team.
According to construction management professor Jason Peschel, Brock has a great work ethic and an even better attitude, especially for a student athlete who is juggling school and athletics.
With a busy schedule of classes and practices, Eager carefully manages his schedule. He gets his homework done ahead of time so he doesn’t have to do homework while traveling. He is also strategic in planning his classes, picking labs that meet earlier in the week since he typically travels later in the week.
Eager will graduate in May 2019 and hopes to obtain an internship in the summer. He will return to Pullman to train for a year with his coach and apply to the U.S. Olympic Trials. His dream to make it to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics is nearly within reach.
“Just a few more feet.”