VAULTER VAULTER

From Olympian to ‘American Ninja Warrior’

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas viewers of “American Ninja Warrior” should have caught a good look at a familiar face during last week’s season premiere.

The contestants during the NBC television show’s “Los Angeles qualifier” included former Arkansas and Olympic pole vaulter April Steiner Bennett. “American Ninja Warrior,” now in its ninth full season and sixth on NBC, takes contestants through a large obstacle course, and contestants are battling against time and gravity for an attempt to reach the national finals in Las Vegas and win $1 million.

“It’s like a big kid playground,” Steiner Bennett said Friday while she instructed vaulters during the Stacy Dragila Vault Camp at Ramay Junior High. “It’s ginormous. The things are sometimes unattainable, and I have always liked that aspect of it. I always try to overachieve and go for things that are unattainable to some. That was my draw to it.”

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