Tuesday December 12, 2017

april-1

April Steiner Bennett

by Adele Correale San Miguel

Published in Vaulter Magazine, April 1, 2016

“Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes

In the summer of 1992, April Steiner Bennett was a pony-tailed 12 year-old, sitting on a couch in her family’s middle class home in Mesa, AZ, when the Olympic spark kindled the flame that became her life’s work.

Carl Lewis, then 31, was leaping into gold medal position with an 8.68 meter long jump at the Barcelona Games. Ignited by Lewis’ athleticism and accomplishment, young April persuaded her father to purchase a membership to USATF. That $12 investment became the ticket to her mythic journey as an Olympian, professional vaulter, and dream chaser.

Twenty-four years later, April’s torch is still lit. Her laser sharp focus is aimed at representing Team USA in Rio. Coached by 2000 Olympian Stacy Dragila, April embodies a high ideal in athletics, acknowledging those who have made her odyssey possible. It’s not her, it’s them.

 

April and husband Cameron

April and husband Cameron

April coined the term Olympianites to define those who guard dreams. In November 2015, she took the stage at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, to deliver a TEDx Talk on The Beautiful Life of Hidden Olympians. It focused on the parents, coaches, and mentors who encourage others to develop their passions. The Olympian is the dream chaser; the Olympianite, the dream maker. Olympianites give ambition its very best chance.

April’s Olympianites include her husband Cameron, who was willing to move to Idaho for her coaching; her parents, Michael and Cara, who feed her a constant stream of enthusiasm and support; and her sponsors ASICS America and UCS Spirit, who supply the essentials so she can focus on the training.

But April’s Olympianites are not limited to a few.  A village surrounds her that is made up of families and clubs across the country, as well as a tribe of ‘little sisters’ who are lifted by her encouragement and who inspire her in return. The light in April’s eye, and the integrity of who she is, has attracted a crowd of Olympianites who want for April what she wants for herself.

The theme of these TEDx Talks was Thou Mayest, a philosophy born of John Steinbeck that suggests we each have the choice to improve our own condition, and in doing …

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Pole Vault Carolina Senior Kreager Taber

When recent Cary Academy graduate Kreager Tabor joined Pole Vault Carolina, she brought great energy to the club. In addition to being a pole vaulter, Kreager is a triple jumper, high jumper, relay runner, and captain of the Cary Academy track and field team.

Kreager improved 12” in her last season and holds the Cary Academy record in the vault. She is the state champion for the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association division.

Kreager is headed to Middlebury College where she will represent her school in the pole vault and triple jump. Kreager was recently named July Calendar Girl by Vaulter Magazine. Thank you, Kreager, for being part of the Pole Vault Carolina family and for lighting up every practice with your support of the other athletes. You will be missed!…

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