Two-time Olympic high jump competitor Vashti Cunningham is headed to Eugene, Oregon to compete in the 47th Nike Prefontaine Classic.
The event will take place at Hayward Field on May 27 and May 28 on the University of Oregon’s campus. It is named after the legend Steve Prefontaine who set American records in many long-distance events. The Pre Classic is the only professional track and field Wanda Diamond League event held in the United States.
“Pre is definitely one of my favorite meets. It is an amazing atmosphere as an athlete to go and just feel all the love and support,” Cunningham said.
She is coached by her father, NFL star turned pastor and Raiders’ chaplain Randall Cunningham.
“Training with my dad is good. It’s been really fun over the past few years as I’ve matured and learned to accept his guidance much more. It’s been amazing to have a family member as my coach and just have that guarantee that he wants the best for me,” Cunningham said.
She started high jumping in fourth grade. Originally she really loved basketball, volleyball, and football, but then he brought her to a track and she “fell in love.”
Cunningham stays fueled for meets through a dairy-free and mostly gluten-free diet.
“As natural as I can be is definitely up my alley,” she said.
When she’s not competing, she enjoys working on her film photography skills.
“I love to shoot landscape, and I love to shoot fashion photography. So, whether it’s me going to the mountains and wearing a crazy outfit or bringing a crazy outfit with me, that’s like killing two birds with one stone, getting the nature and the fashion side of it,” Cunningham said.
She will compete on Saturday, May 28.