Texas State senior pole vaulter Logan Cunningham will make a bid for a third All-American designation this weekend at the NCAA indoor championship meet (Texas State sports information photo).
The indoor track season is ending for Texas State senior pole vaulter Logan Cunningham just like the last two, with a trip to the NCAA National Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
The last two years, Cunningham was named an All-American for finishing in the top eight. As it happens, his personal record and Western Athletic Conference record vault of 5.53 meters this year is the eighth best in the country this season, which indicates that he has a shot at another All-American designation.
The significance is not lost on Texas State track and field coach Dana Boone.
“Him going is a big deal for us,” Boone said. “He definitely has an opportunity to score and come home as an All-American. He could bring home some hardware, which is an awesome opportunity. It means a lot to our program, and we’re thankful that we have him.”
In track, unlike most other sports, athletes compete not just against the competition at hand, but against their own personal histories. The ideal for Cunningham going into this weekend’s national championship meet, of course, is to win both ways. But there’s nothing he can do about how well other competitors vault. He can’t stop them. So, he has set the realistic goal.
“I want to set a personal record,” Cunningham said. “I want to hit a height I’ve never done before. It’s an awesome track there, and it’s really a great opportunity for me.”
The toughest competition for Cunningham figures to be Oral Roberts pole vaulter Jack Whitt, who has the highest vault across the nation at 5.68 meters, which won the Southland Conference indoor meet and secured for himself recognition as the Southland Conference Male Athlete of the Year. Whitt has an indoor personal best of 5.72 meters, set last June.
“Honestly, I just want to do the best I can,” Cunningham said. “Of course I want to win it, but I’ve gone in with just that as my focus before. I feel the best way to approach it is to go in there and do the best I can.”
Cunningham has been working extensively with Herston and former Texas State pole vaulter and current volunteer assistant coach Brookelyn Dickson.
“He’s been growing,” Dickson said of Cunningham. “Some athletes come in and never set personal records at the collegiate level. They come in and just hope to maintain, but he’s gotten stronger and faster … Technically, he’s learned and figured things out so now it’s time to put that together with the new strength and speed. I’m very pleased with how he looks headed into the meet.”
The pole vaulting event will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m.
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