EUGENE, Ore. — Vashti Cunningham made the leap to the pros this year. Now she is making the leap to the Olympics.
The 18-year-old daughter of former NFL star Randall Cunningham, who earlier this year won the U.S. and world indoor titles, finished second to veteran Chaunte Lowe in the women’s high jump on Sunday in the U.S. Olympic trials.
Cunningham just finished her senior year at Bishop Gorman but could not compete the track team this spring after turning pro.
Lowe, who has three children, is a four-time Olympian. Lowe cleared 6-feet, 7 inches (2.01 meters), the best jump in the world this year. Cunningham cleared 6-5 1/2.
Inika McPherson (6-3 1/4) finished third. All three have the Olympic standard.
Cunningham is the world junior recordholder, clearing 1.99 meters (6-6 1/4) at the U.S. indoor track and field championships. She followed that up a week later with a victory in the world indoor championships in Portland (clearing, 1.96 meters, 6-5).
She is the youngest track and field athlete to make a U.S. team in 36 years.