(Spring Branch, TX) — by Brant Freeman
Ex-Smithson Valley track star Logan Cunningham has gone from wearing Ranger blue to the red, white and blue, recently qualifying for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cunningham, who competed in track and field at Smithson Valley from 2006 to 2009, earned his spot on Team USA as a pole vaulter on July 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
At the trials, Cunningham advanced past the qualifying round and into the finals by clearing all three heights contested on his first attempt with the last being at 5.55m. In the final round on the Independence Day holiday, Cunningham needed to clear his third and final attempt on the first height of 5.40m to progress. He then cleared the next two heights on his first attempts, placing him in the Top 3 at second place.
However, Cunningham was unable to clear the bar at 5.65m on all three attempts and was later bumped down to third place after Cale Simmons cleared that height on his first attempt. The former Ranger standout was nearly taken out of Olympic contention later in the day as fellow US athlete Tray Oates attempted to clear the bar at 5.70m. But Oates grazed the bar off of its perch on all three of his attempts, securing a third place finish for Cunningham, guaranteeing him a spot on the US Olympic team.
The 2016 Summer Games will mark Cunningham’s Olympic debut. He’s scheduled to compete in the qualifying round of the pole vault event on August 13th at 6:20 PM (CT) in Rio. In order to reach the finals on August 15th, Cunningham is required to finish in the top 12 of the qualifying round.
While at Smithson Valley, Cunningham set a then personal record of 5.08m at the Judson Invitational in Converse. He was named as the San Antonio Express News Field Athlete of the Year as a junior in 2008 and participated in both the Summer Track AAU Nationals and Summer Track USA Nationals while in high school.