OLYMPIC SPOTLIGHT: April Steiner Bennett

OLYMPIC SPOTLIGHT: April Steiner Bennett

Event: Pole Vault

Date: Prelims – Saturday, August 16, Final – Monday, August 18

April Steiner Bennett had her career-best finish at a National Championship in 2008 when she finished as the runner-up in the pole vault at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and qualified for her first Olympic Team.

She cleared 14-1.25 in the prelims and 15-1 in the finals to make her Olympic dream come true.

During her time at Arkansas, Steiner Bennett was a four-time All-American and the 2003 SEC Outdoor Champion. She held the outdoor school record at 14-2 until April, 2008 when Katie Stripling cleared 14-3.25. She holds the indoor school record at 14-3.25.

Steiner Bennett claimed the silver medal in the pole vault at the 2007 Pan American Games with her clearance of 14-5.25.

After transferring to Arkansas from Paradise Valley Community College, Steiner Bennett became the first woman in the SEC to clear 13 feet indoor.

Steiner Bennett enjoys being a leader and mentor to younger athletes and is very involved with USATF’s Be A Champion program. When she is not training, she spends her time as a teacher in the Springdale school district.

Steiner Bennett was in training for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials when she received the call to appear on the reality TV show Fear Factor. After a grueling competition to complete four tasks, including eating worm green beans, maggoty mashed potatoes and roach stuffing, Steiner was the winner pocketing the $50,000 prize which helped her pay for her training expenses after graduating from Arkansas

She returned to Arkansas to train with her Arkansas coach, Bryan Compton, after a brief training stop in Arizona. Steiner Bennett married former ASU pole vaulter Cameron Bennett in January, 2008.

Career Highlights: 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up; 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist; sixth at 2005 USA Outdoors; fifth at 2004 Olympic Trials; four-time NCAA All-American and 2003 SEC Outdoor Champion.