Vashti Cunningham showcased why she’s the best women’s high jumper in the country in May when she leaped a personal best of 6 feet, 7½ inches at the Chula Vista Field Fest. Days leading up to the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, Cunningham envisioned jumping a new personal record.
Cunningham didn’t eclipse her personal best, but a gold medal and trip to Tokyo is a more than worthy consolation prize. The 23-year-old won the women’s high jump at 6-5 to qualify for her second Olympics.
“The final was very exciting for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it days leading up to it. I was so ready to be there,” Cunningham said. “I didn’t quite jump the height that I wanted to, but I was just happy to go through (and) to win my first trials title.”
At the 2016 trials, the then 18-year-old Cunningham finished second. Five years later, she was the only high jumper to clear 6-5.
Inika McPherson was second followed by Nicole Greene. Both had jumps of 6-4, but McPherson cleared it on her first attempt.