From humble beginnings in junior high to participating in the 2012 Olympic Trials, Logan Cunningham has done everything a pole vaulter dreams of doing.
“I started vaulting in 7th grade when I decided I wanted to join track and field,” said Cunningham, nutrition and foods junior. “After I saw pole vaulting, I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
After participating in track and field at Texas State, Cunningham was invited to participate in the Olympic Trials. Cunningham’s grandfather and father, both involved in track and field, were largely involved in his early career. His father was a runner and his grandfather was a sprinter, making Cunningham the first pole vaulter in the family and the third involved in track and field.
“I remember going to watch the track and field athletes when I first got started,” said Cunningham. “My dad had taken me, and it really is what made me get started. I would definitely credit my dad and my grandpa with getting me started in vaulting.”
To gain an edge on his opponents, Cunningham worked with personal trainers in his free time and would practice on his own when he could. Paul Cunningham, Logan’s father, has been involved every step of the way in his son’s career.
“To see him advance from 7th grade to where he is now is pretty incredible,” Paul Cunningham said. “His work ethic is really what has struck me. I believe he’ll keep vaulting for a long time, I really feel like he has that spark in him.”
In high school at Smithson Valley, Cunningham was chosen as the Field Athlete of the Year in 2008. In 2012 he was named a First-Team All-American and set the school’s indoor record. Soon after, he was named the Southland Conference (SLC) Men’s Athlete of the Week in February after shattering records with his performance in the SLC Championships.
Logan Cunningham, however, was disappointed with a no-height at his NCAA performance, which means that he had not cleared the bar on his vault. Despite this, he managed to keep his head up knowing he had the Olympic Trials to look forward to.
On June 25, Cunningham participated in the qualifying round pole-vault for the Olympic trials where he earned a no-height along with 12 others who performed the same. Poor weather conditions made the jump exceptionally difficult for all 24 pole-vaulters and ended the run for some, including Cunningham. However, simply being invited to the trials meant he was ranked among the top 24 pole vaulters in the United States.
“It was an honor just to watch those kids line up and walk on the field, and know that Logan is out there with the best and even with those who have been there before,” said Paul Cunningham of his son’s performance in the Olympic Trials.
“I try not to think too much about the times when I mess up,” said Cunningham. “I’ve always tried to keep looking forward and try to be better in my next performance.”
by: Eddie Baty