American Ninja Warrior Junior Kids Season 2 2020, Episode 1
American Ninja Warrior Junior is back for Season 2!!!
And with a new season comes some tweaks to last season’s format.
Here’s a breakdown:
-Just like last season, ninjas will compete in three divisions: 9-10 years old, 11-12 years old, and 13-14 years old. They will compete in head to head races.
The qualifying rounds feature four ninjas per division. They will start in a seeding round, with the two fastest ninjas from that round taking on the two slowest ninjas in the knockout round.
The winners of the two knockout rounds move on to the final showdown, where the winner will move on to the quarterfinals.
-New this season instead of waiting until the end of the season to see all the winners, there will be a quarterfinal round episode after three episodes to determine who goes on to the semifinals.
-With the new format, there will only be three quarterfinal qualifiers, so the fourth spot will be determined with the two fastest non-winners from each set of three episodes competing for a wildcard spot.
Also, Laurie Hernandez is preparing for the Olympics in the summer. So Matt and Akbar will be joined this season by Paralympic athlete Victoria Arlen as co-host.
9-10 Year Old Division (Ninja Mentor: Barclay Stockett)
The course: Shrinking Steps, Little Dipper, Spider Walls, Block Run, Flying Squirrel, 13 Foot Warped Wall (with two hand holds)
Seeding Round: Adil Mbondo vs Bradi Brownfield
Bradi is a fan of bunnies, and she started training them for pet therapy while she was on bed rest from a knee injury during gymnastics.
Meanwhile, Adil is a 2nd Degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Bradi took a slight lead after the first obstacle.
But Adil passed her on Little Dipper.
The lead went back and forth between the two ninjas with Bradi having a slight edge has the pair made their way towards the Warped Wall.
But Bradi slipped on her way up. Furthering complicating things, Bradi struggled again as she tried to climb up to the top.
Adil took advantage of the slips to pass Bradi and hit the buzzer first.
Seeding Round: Makena Cook vs Neil Sekhri
Makena competed in the same age bracket last season, while Neil’s grandparents, who are big fans of the show, will be cheering him on from India.
Makena’s veteran experience showed early as she took an early lead.
On his way through the Little Dipper, Neil missed the net and fell into the water.
That gave Makena the win, but she wanted her first buzzer.
Makena pushed through the rest of the course and got it!!!!
During the break…
Knockout Round: Adil Mbondo vs Neil Sekhri
Neil fell again on the Little Dipper, and “Ninja Ali” hit his second buzzer of the day.
Knockout Round: Makena Cook vs Bradi Brownfield
Bradi’s time was seven seconds faster than Makena’s in the seeding round.
And Bradi’s speed showed early.
Unfortunately, Bradi slipped and fell on Spider Walls.
Makena finished the course, hitting her second buzzer and advanced to the Final Showdown.
And while Bradi is out for now, she has a time of 50.18 seconds, setting the bar for future Wildcard qualifiers.
11-12 Year old Division (Ninja Mentor: Grant McCartney)
The course: Shrinking Steps, Little Dipper, Double Tilt Ladders, Block Run, Wing Nuts, 13 foot Warped Wall (one hand hold)
Seeding Round: Harry Robinson vs Lucas Cvitanich
Lucas, “The Mythical Ninja,” loves reading mythology and writing, while Harry is a blacksmith who snacks on dry pasta, which really impresses Akbar for some reason (The dry pasta part, that is).
The two were running parallel through two obstacles.
Harry started to gain some distance on Double Tilt Ladders. But Lucas was right behind him after Block Run.
Though Lucas made it closer, Harry held that lead all the way to the finish.
Seeding Round: Taylor Greene vs Raeya Linton
Taylor was a finalist last season, finishing 4th in the 9-10 age division. Meanwhile, Raeya has been doing gymnastics since she was a baby.
Taylor opened a nice lead early on.
But Raeya appeared ready to catch up on Double Tilt Ladders before her hand slipped.
Last year’s finalist would lead from start to finish, recording one of the fastest times we’ve seen so far.
Knockout Round: Harry Robinson vs Raeya Linton
Raeya had a slight edge on Little Dipper, and that lead grew after the Double Tilt Ladders.
Harry took a slight lead on the Wingnuts and was just one step ahead of Raeya on his way to victory and a spot in the final showdown.
But Raeya currently sits with the top spot for the Wild Card.
During the break…
Knockout Round: Taylor Greene vs Lucas Cvitanich
Taylor put in another top performance to advance to the Final Showdown.
13-14 year old Division (Ninja Mentor: Drew Dreschel)
The course: Floating Steps, Little Dipper, Crazy Cliffhanger, Block Run, Sky Hooks, 13-foot Warped Wall (no hand holds)
Seeding Round: Jonathan Godbout vs Cal Plohoros
Two veterans open up the competition in the 13-14 year old division. Jonathan finished 3rd in this division while Cal made the semifinals in the 11-12 year old division.
Jonathan built an early advantage on the Little Dipper.
And he would keep the pace up all the way to Sky Hooks.
But “Ninja Cal” made an incredible comeback, flying past Jonathan on Sky Hooks and making it up the Warped Wall first.
Seeding Round: Olivia Kosanovich vs Rose Lord
Olivia is a national climbing champ who competes despite having arthritis, while Rose was a Semifinalist in the 11-12 year old division last season.
Rose’s experience showed as she grabbed the early lead after the first two obstacles.
But Olivia stayed close behind, and her climbing experience showed as she raced out in front on Ultimate Cliffhanger.
Olivia stumbled on Block Run, opening the door for Rose to close the gap.
A slight hesitation by Rose on the start of her Wall Run cost her as Olivia hit the buzzer just ahead of her.
During the break…
Knockout Round: Cal Plohoros vs Rose Lord
Cal showed his speed again advancing to the Final Showdown.
Knockout Round: Olivia Kosanovich vs Jonathan Godbout
Jonathan got out to a strong start once again.
He kept a slight lead with Olivia close behind all the way to Sky Hooks.
Olivia lost her grip on Sky Hooks and fell, and Jonathan came back and got the win, setting up a rematch in the Final Showdown.
9-10 year old Final Showdown: Abil Mbondo vs Makenna Cook
Makena took an early lead after two obstacles.
But Abil kept it close, gaining ground on the Spider Walls.
And on Flying Squirrel, Abil used a one swing dismount that proved to be the difference, hitting the buzzer just a split second before Makenna.
11-12 year old Final Showdown: Harry Robinson vs Taylor Greene
Taylor raced out to the early lead, but Harry was not far behind.
Taylor kept the lead all the way to Wingnuts.
And a one swing dismount on the last Wingnut gave Taylor the final advantage she needed to advance to the Quarterfinals.
13-14 year old Final Showdown: Cal Plohoros vs Jonathan Godbout
The duo came out flying.
And just like their first race, Jonathan had the big lead through most of the course.
But once again, “Ninja Cal” made up ground and was poised for a big finish on Sky Hooks.
And he did it again!!!
Cal raced up the Wall, hit the buzzer, and advanced to the quarterfinals.
9-10 year old division: Abil Mbondo
11-12 year old division: Taylor Greene
13-14 year old division: Cal Plohoros
Top two Wildcard Times:
9-10 year old division:
Bradi Brownfield- 50.18
Makena Cook- 54.36
11-12 year old division:
Harry Robinson- 51.49
Raeya Linton 52.31
13-14 year old division:
Jonathan Godbout- 31.39
Olivia Kosanovich- 50.80