Tiger Relays : Eager Runs to a Big Victory in Two Mile

Robin Eager, at age 16, hardly seems to be a track and field veteran, but the Vista High School sophomore has been winning races for almost seven years.

Eager added another victory to her list, winning the Tiger Relays two mile in a time of 11:18.5 on Saturday at Morse High.

The two mile was the only individual event at the all-girls meet.

Eager ran just behind the leaders for the first two laps, but surged to the lead on the third lap. At the mile, Eager and Torrey Pines' Nicole Nugent had pulled away from the other five entrants. A lap later, Eager had taken over by herself.

"The first part of the race seemed slow," Eager said. "I was just cruising along and on the fifth lap my coach (Vista's Ed Matthews) said, 'go.' And I went."

With the burst, Eager pulled away from Nugent.

"I knew that I'd have to stay with her," Nugent said. "She really put on a surge and I couldn't stay with her. She's tough. She's a great runner."

Eager is not an experienced two miler as she prefers the mile and half mile. She has career best marks of 2:15 for 800 meters and 5:09 in the mile. Saturday's two mile time bettered her previous best of 11:40.

Despite lacking experience in the two mile, Eager is a veteran racer. She began racing, and winning, the 440 and 660 in YMCA meets at age 10.

She ran her first 10 kilometer road race at age 12, winning the 12 and under division in 47 minutes.

"My mom and I really didn't know what we were doing," Eager said. "The day before the race my mom had me run the course. We got lost and I ended up running extra miles."

Eager was disappointed with her seventh-place finish in last season's San Diego CIF final in the 800. She entered the race with the top qualifying time of 2:15.

Despite her strong showing Saturday, she has not swayed from her preference to the shorter distances. "I'd like to finish first in CIF in the mile," Eager said. "I just want to do well."

Another athlete showing early-season promise is Torrey Pines' Nugent, who finished second to Eager in 11:40.5.

"I beat my best time by 24 seconds," Nugent said. "I'm really happy despite finishing second."

Nugent is happy to be running at all. The Falcons sophomore missed the entire cross-country season after having arthroscopic surgery on her left knee. She began her comeback with a 5:05 1,500 meters at an all-comers meet at San Diego State University on Feb. 23.

Like Eager, Nugent prefers the 800 and mile. She has career bests of 2:21 and 5:14, respectively. And like Eager, she has big goals for 1985.

"I want to go to the state meet," Nugent said.

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