Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cunningham Continuing Career at UW-Parkside

Cunningham's career will continue at UW-Parkside. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – Troy Cunningham’s athletic career at Harper College has been nothing short of spectacular. A seven-time national champion, Cunningham will continue his career at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the men’s cross country and track and field teams.

Cunningham was drawn to the Div. II school by head cross country and track and field coach Micah VenDenend.

“He approached me and was very interested, and I went for a visit,” Cunningham said. “I liked the size of the school, the layout, the nice indoor facility, and the guys on the team. It seemed like the best fit for me.”

Cunningham considered schools such as Eastern Illinois University, Aurora University, Lewis University, and the University of Missouri before making his decision.

Cunningham credits Harper’s level of competition and great coaching as keys to preparing him for his future at UW-Parkside.

“We competed against a lot of Div. II and III schools,” he said. “It opened a lot of doors to new opportunities, and I can’t wait to get started at UW-Parkside.”

He joins a UW-Parkside Rangers program that boasted two former Harper College standouts for the 2012-13 school year. Seniors Jesus Escareno and Michael Karwowski were both NJCAA All-Americans for the Hawks before moving on to compete for the Rangers.

As a freshman in the 2011-12 school year, Cunningham helped the men’s cross country team win its first national championship ever in the sport. His 23rd place finish gave the Hawks a necessary boost to win the title over SUNY-Delhi. Cunningham continued his success on the track in the spring, as he won the national title in the 800m and was a member of the 3200m and 1600m relay teams that scored points for a team that won its fifth national championship in six years.

He added four more national titles to his resume in the 2012-13 school year, beginning with an individual title and second consecutive team national championship at the cross country NJCAA Championships. Cunningham was Harper’s first ever individual champion in the event.

Cunningham followed up an impressive fall with two more national titles on the track, one in the 1500m and one as a member of a first place 3200m relay team. He also took second in the 800m and earned All-American status for a Hawks team that placed second in the national meet. Finally, Cunningham was voted 2013 Men’s Track and Field Team MVP by his teammates.

“Troy is a very talented young man and a fierce competitor,” said Harper track and field coach Renee Zellner. “If he puts in the time and is committed to his training, he will continue to drop time and be successful in the 800m and 1500m at UW-Parkside.”

Cunningham is leaning towards majoring in sports management but hasn’t made a decision at this point.

No comments:

Post a Comment