Winter Springs senior Kimmie Cunningham vividly remembers her first time jumping hurdles and it's one she'd soon forget. As a freshman, Cunningham's coach put her in the 100m hurdles. As someone who ran the hurdles, back in the day (albeit not very well), when you see those beasts for the first time they can be a little intimidating. The youngster didn't know how to hurdle at the time either. She started off and then she says she started to attack the hurdles, literally.
"I fell and the crowd was like "owhhhhh" so embarrassing. My whole freshman year all I was doing was falling. From then on as long I didn't fall it was a good race to me. It was getting to the point where my mom didn't want me to do the hurdles anymore because I would always fall and cry."
Cunningham learned to love the hurdles by practicing and going over them again and again. Instead of being scared, she embraced the fall, noting that you're going to fall sooner or later so you might as well go all out. She doesn't do the 100m hurdles often opting to focus on her favorite distance the 300m hurdles instead. The Bears star was the 4A runner-up behind Ashley Miller who graduated early to attend the University of Texas. At the state meet, Cunningham also qualified for the 100m dash and the 4x4 where the quartet was 4th. For someone who has done everything from the 55m dash at Jimmy Carnes in 2014 to cross country, long jump, and triple jump. She says all those events make for a busy week of workouts.
"Mondays I already know it's going to be hell so I have to get myself mentally prepared.Tuesdays are pretty chill. We will probably go for a long run. Wednesdays are hard. We most likely to do a sprint workout. Thursdays I work on hurdles. Fridays is the most relaxed day, but every day of the week is pretty hard."
Cunningham describes herself as a chilled laid back runner, but says once she gets on the track its serious time and she's focused on winning.
"I'm looking forward to the FSU Relays and Florida Relays. My goals for 2016 are to win the 300mH at state, break all my high school records again, and get the triple jump records as well."
The Low Down
Flrunners.com: What is your favorite home cooked meal?
Kimmie Cunningham: Macaroni cheese, baked beans, and yellow rice with cornbread or chicken alfredo.
FLR: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
KC: Th best advice someone has given me was to be on time by my coach Coach Clark.
FLR: If you were a superhero who would you be and why?
KC: I would be Wonder Woman so I can have unbelievable powers. I
FLR: Who are your role models in the T&F world?
KC: I look up to my coaches coach Clark and Coach Williams because the show me that you have to work for what you want.
FLR: Do you have any pre-race rituals?
KC: I usually have my playlist ready and listen to music before a race and I pray "I can do all things through Christ that strengths me" before every race.
- 100mH - 15.58
- 100m - 11.97
- 200m - 24.33
- 300mH - 41.73
- 400m - 56.14
- Long Jump - 16-9
- Triple Jump - 37-5.5