April Steiner Bennett

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April Steiner Bennett is a pole vaulter. Since childhood she set a goal to compete in the Olympics. She tried a few sports before settling into track and field and made the track team at Paradise Valley Community College in Arizona. At a time when the pole vault was newly open to women in the Olympics, she took her coach’s suggestion to try it. With pole vaulting, she earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas. She was a four-time All-American and was the 2003 SEC Outdoor Champion. During the 2004 Olympic trials, she placed fifth and at the 2008 Olympic trials, she placed second, winning a spot on the team. In Beijing, she placed eighth. To earn money to train for the Olympics, she appeared on television’s Fear Factor. Her disgusting challenges included eating mashed potatoes that had maggots. She prevailed and won $50,000.

Bennett was born on April 22, 1980, and raised in Arizona. She married Cameron Bennett in 2008. He is a former Arizona State University pole vaulter. She graduated from the University of Arkansas and worked as a volunteer assistant coach. She was also a middle school physical education teacher in Springdale, Arkansas. She has been active in the USATFs Be a Champion program.

She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.