Former Lady'Back To Appear on 'Fear Factor'

FAYETTEVILLE -- April Steiner, a former University of Arkansas pole vaulter who finished fifth in the United States Olympic Trials last summer, will appear on an episode of "Fear Factor" on NBC at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22.

"It was awesome," said the 2003 UA graduate. "I was there for a week and everyone was really nice."

Arkansas women's track coach Lance Harter said, "April made the finals, but isn't allowed to say how she finished. She's a very entertaining person."

Steiner said Joe Rogan, the show's host, was entertaining, too.

"Joe is a stand-up comedian and is hilarious," she said. "I was laughing so hard at times that I couldn't even stand up."

Steiner also had trouble standing when she got seasick on a boat resembling the Mayflower.

"I didn't know they were going to bring us out into the ocean," she said. "It was freezing."

Bela Karolyi, arguably the most successful U.S. gymnastics coach ever, will visit Fayetteville today for some media appearances in advance of the T.J. Maxx Tour of former Olympians in Barnhill Arena on Nov. 22.

Karolyi has coached 15 world champions and nine Olympic champions, including Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton and Kerri Strug.

His ranch in Houston, Texas, houses the USA Gymnastics Team Training Center.

Karolyi's wife, Martha, coached current U.S. gold medalist Carly Patterson, who will headline the Nov. 22 show sponsored by Tyson Foods.

Bela and Martha Karolyi emigrated from Romania to the U.S. during an exhibition tour in New York City in 1981. At Barcelona in 1992, Bela Karolyi coached the U.S. team to its first Olympic gymnastics medal in eight years.

Arkansas will honor its lone senior volleyball player, Jennfier Haaser of Fort Smith, at 7 p.m. Friday when the Lady Razorbacks welcome LSU for a key Southeastern Conference West match.

The Lady'Backs fell to 13-12 and 9-5 atop the SEC West after losing at Tennessee and South Carolina last weekend.

"The Tennessee loss was a heartbreaker," said UA coach Chris Poole. "We spent an enormous amount of emotion and then didn't play well against South Carolina."

In the latter match, televised by Fox Sports South Net on Sunday, Arkansas led 22-17 in Game 1 and 25-19 in Game 2, before losing both games as USC closed with runs of 13-1 and 11-2. The Gamecocks won the third game easily.

"We were in shock at intermission," Poole admitted.

But because Arkansas' opponents' schedules rank second toughest in the country, the Lady'Backs fell just one spot to No. 33 in the unofficial RPI -- just ahead of Georgia and not far behind No. 29 Alabama.

"The SEC deserves five NCAA Tournament teams, but no one from the SEC is on the selection committee," Poole said. "We need to win out to get the third seed in the SEC Tournament."

Alabama, second in the SEC West at 8-6, is 18-7 overall and likely to win its remaining league games against Kentucky and LSU at home. Arkansas travels on Sunday to Mississippi State, the best serving team in the league, according to Poole.

On Tuesday, Arkansas hosts Southwest Missouri State, another team scrambling for NCAA Tournament consideration.

Harter will take seven runners and three alternates to Waco, Texas, on Saturday for the South Central Regional cross country meet.

"We need to finish in the top two to assure a spot in the NCAA Meet," Harter said. "Third would probably get us in, too, but we'd like to contend with SMU to win this week."

The Lady'Backs lost by nine points to SMU at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville last month, without Kristina Smith and Penny Splichal.

Smith will run Saturday along with teammates Alison Rush, Jessie Gordon, Laura Jakosky, Tiffany Redlarczyk, Maureen Scott and Shiloh Whiting. Splichal, Laura Kerr and Beth Fahey will go as alternates.

"It's supposed to be windy and chilly," Harter said. "That would prepare us for the national meet at Terre Haute, Ind., where it will probably snow on Nov. 22."

The Lady'Backs are familiar with the relatively flat Cottonwood Creeks Golf Course at Waco, where they placed third last year to narrowly miss advancing to the NCAAs.

"That was a very miserable feeling," Harter said. "Baylor edged us out. They beat us at Minnesota this year, too, but we've had great workouts lately. Every day I go to the training room to see what our crisis du jour is, but we're pretty healthy."

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