18-Year-Old Vashti Cunningham Wins World High Jump Title, Will Go Pro

PORTLAND — 18-year-old Vashti Cunningham was crowned the World Indoor Champion in the women’s high jump, and announced on the NBC television broadcast that she made the decision to turn pro.

After the announcement on NBC, Cunningham told reporters that she had not signed with an agent, but that her father, former NFL star Randall Cunningham would be her agent. She did not confirm a specific sponsor, but she did say “hopefully Nike,” when asked if she had chosen a brand. The sportswear giant tweeted at Cunningham after she won the World title. 

When asked if she had picked a college to attend while competing as a pro, Cunningham told reporters that she had not decided on a school.

READ: "Vashti Cunningham is Fierce" feature

The senior at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, was flawless through the opening four heights, clearing 1.84m, 1.89m, 1.93m and 1.96m on first attempts.

She missed all three attempts at 1.99m, which would have equaled her world junior record she set en route to winning the U.S. Championship last week.

Cunningham extended her winning streak on Sunday by becoming the youngest American ever to medal at World Indoors. She is also the youngest woman ever to win the high jump at the World Indoor Championships. 

At the USATF Outdoor Championships just one week prior, Cunningham rolled on the competition with a victory in 1.99m (6-6.25), which broke the world junior indoor high jump record as well as her own high school national record. Her mark also stands at No. 4 in the U.S. all-time.

Watch Cunningham react to winning the World title and making the decision to turn pro:

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Is NCAA Track/XC Dying?


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The recent announcements of program cuts to men's cross country at Akron and men's track at Central Michigan have resurfaced a feeling of uncertainty for the future of NCAA cross country and track. Here is a breakdown of where our sport currently stands within the NCAA system.

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