Randall Cunningham’s Daughter Vashti Makes the Olympics

Vashti Cunningham finished second in the trials in high jump to qualify for the Olympics in Rio next month. Randall, the former Eagles quarterback, is her coach.

Vashti Cunningham

Randall Cunningham’s daughter is going to the Olympics.

Over the holiday weekend, Vashti Cunningham finished second in high jump at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. Her runner-up performance at the trials earned her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Rio later this summer.

“God blessed that girl, that little tall girl,” Cunningham told reporters afterward. “She stayed so calm out there. She listens, and she wants it just as much as Allyson Felix.”

Cunningham, who won the indoor world high jump championship this winter, is just 18 years old. She is a legitimate contender for a gold medal at the Olympics — she’ll try to become one of the youngest medalists of all time at this year’s Games. Randall, the former Eagles quarterback, is her coach. She is the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to reach the Olympics since 1980 (a games the U.S. later boycotted).

Chaunté Lowe, who is 32, cleared 6-foot-7 to win the Olympic trials. Cunningham’s top height was 6-foot-5 1/2. Inika McPherson, who cleared 6-foot-4 to make her first Olympic team, rounded out the top three.

“I’m very appreciative,” Vashti Cunningham said after her win. “To be able to go to the Olympics, I’m more happy than disappointed about finishing second. I always want to win, but this is something that will hit me on the head and make me work harder. I’ve got more motivation for Rio.”

Cunningham turned pro one day after winning the world indoor championship earlier this year. She has long been coached by her father; her mother is former ballerina Felicity De Jager.

The 2016 Olympics are scheduled to begin on August 5th.

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