Logan Cunningham (Texas State) eyes NCAA title

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Logan Cunningham (Texas State) eyes NCAA title

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:00 am

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/coll ... 609022.php

Texas St. vaulter eyes NCAA title
By Jerry Briggs
Updated 12:35 a.m., Tuesday, June 5, 2012


SAN MARCOS — Texas State pole vaulter Logan Cunningham has walked away from competitions before, head down, feeling a knot of disappointment in the pit of his stomach.

He has suffered through long slumps that have left him bewildered, wondering what has gone wrong.

“Sometimes you can lose your confidence,” he said recently. “When that happens, you just have to continue to believe in yourself. You have to believe you'll come out of it.”

Lately, Cunningham has started to win most of the mental battles.

In fact, the junior from Smithson Valley said he thinks he can emerge with a victory at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week.

He said his goal is a personal record of better than 18 feet, 13/4 inches and a title for Texas State.

“I want to go out there and jump higher than I've ever jumped before,” he said. “My goal is not to get fourth or third or second. I'm out to try and win it. If I don't, at least I've tried. I don't see any reason I can't win it if I jump well.”

The four-day national meet opens Wednesday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

On Friday, Cunningham will compete in a 24-man field in the pole vault, a passion that he has embraced since seventh grade.

It's been sort of a wild, emotional ride during that eight-year period.

Highlights have included recognition at Smithson Valley as the Express-News Field Athlete of the Year in 2008. Then in 2009, he cleared 16 feet, 8 inches, still an area high school record.

Lowlights came during inconsistent seasons in his first two years at Texas State.

A hotshot coming out of high school, he couldn't clear anything better than 15-6 indoors as a freshman.

“My PR coming in was 16-8, so that was very frustrating,” Cunningham said.

Last spring, his work on the track and in the weight room started to pay off. He enjoyed a solid 2011 outdoor campaign and tied for fourth place at the NCAA meet in Des Moines, clearing a personal best 17-21/2 in the process.

This spring, Cunningham's career has continued to blossom. He already has jumped high enough to earn a ticket to the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The Trials ticket came with an 18-1 effort indoors in February in Fayetteville, Ark. Last month, he topped 18-1 by a fraction with his career best outdoors in San Marcos to win the Southland Conference title.

“I was so happy,” Cunningham said. “It was a huge confidence boost to get over 18.”

Increasing his personal record by nearly a foot in a calendar year and moving into the top three in the NCAA — and the top six in the U.S. rankings — has left Cunningham somewhat shocked.

It's also got him thinking crazy thoughts, such as making it to London for the Olympic Games.

To do that, he would need to hit a monster jump of more than 18-8 for the Olympic ‘A' standard, then he would also need to finish in the top three at the Trials.

“On a good day, putting everything together perfectly, I think I can do it,” he said.

Texas State assistant Brookelyn Dickson has seen Cunningham's breakthrough coming for some time.

Dickson said Cunningham always has had the talent. He also has matured, learning from even his worst experiences. Also, she said, he has “busted his butt” in workouts without fail.

“I think Logan is going in to NCAAs definitely more prepared this year,” she said. “He has his sights set on the gold, for sure.”

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Re: Logan Cunningham (Texas State) eyes NCAA title

Unread postby Bubba PV » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:57 pm

I don't doubt it. I jumped in San Marcos last month in the alumni meet and it was my first time to see him jump in person. Really fast and just flys off the pole. SUPER explosive. Stranger things have happened. For sure in the top 3.
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Re: Logan Cunningham (Texas State) eyes NCAA title

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:14 pm

http://star.txstate.edu/node/5781


Inside The Lines: Logan Cunningham
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What links here
Jul 11 2012 - 5:39pm | Eddie Baty

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.”


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