America Ninja Warrior Season 9 Daytona Beach Qualifiers
Your Announcers: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Kristine Leahy
The Course, In Order: Floating Steps, Rolling Pin (1st year), Wingnuts (1st year), Broken Bridge, Rolling Thunder, Warped Wall
- Halei Jo Fuller, 21 year old Music Student
I’m not sure where Halei finds time to train while also practicing the 1,000 instruments she can play.
“The Band Geek Ninja” had the unfortunate task of being the first to try the Rolling Pin, and she did not survive it.
- Casey Suchocki, 25 year old Engineering Student
The “BamaNinja” (boo!!!!) really struggled with the rope on Floating Steps, but completed the first stage.
Casey also became the first to complete Rolling Pins. But he fell at the 3rd stage, the Wingnuts.
After falling on Wingnuts, Casey proposed to his girlfriend Ashley with a ring he was carrying on the course. She said yes!!!
After the break, Brooks Tiller, Caleb Watson, and Timothy Steflik, all fell on the new obstacles.
- Otis Hooper, 40 year old National Guard Pilot
Hooper became the night’s third victim on Rolling Pins. The competitors are really having a hard time with the new stages.
- Bree Widener, 23 year old Makeup Artist
Bree’s friends all support her in creepy clown Zombie makeup (which shows she’s pretty good at her job, I guess).
Bree nearly fell off the course on the dismount, but she held on to complete the Rolling Pins. She also became the first competitor of the night to get past Wingnuts.
Bree’s spirited run didn’t end until the fifth stage at Rolling Thunder. She made a very strong case to qualify for the city finals.
After the break, Young Kim, Kristi Cook, and Hunter Sipes all fell in the middle of the course.
- Royall Eason, 29 year old Line Cook
Royall was a walk-on getting his first shot at qualifying. And he made it as far as anybody had up to this point, making it all the way to Rolling Thunder. A heartbreaking end at the fifth stage for Royall, however, as he got both feet on the pad, but couldn’t stick the landing.
- Jason Bergstrom, 41 year old Handyman
The Bergstrom’s have a full house (9 kids, both their own and adopted children). Bergstrom trained by building an obstacle course in the back yard that he and his many kids practice on.
And “Ninja Dad” had a great run going until he fell face first on the end of the course’s fourth obstacle, Broken Bridge.
- Ben Kennedy, 25 year old Race Car Driver
Well, you can’t have American Ninja Warrior at Daytona International Speedway without having at least one driver competing.
And unlike the Indy Driver who fell on the first stage a few episodes back, Kennedy completed Floating Steps.
He did not make it past Rolling Pins, however.
- Tyler Gillett, 21 year old Delivery Driver
Tyler has been training for this since he was 14. And that practice appeared to be paying off as he easily handled the course all the way past Rolling Thunder (the first competitor to do so).
The Warped Wall was easy after that as Tyler became the first competitor to complete the course on the night.
Tyler Gillett, Course Completed, 2:17.23
Three people all fell on the course before the break. But the show didn’t even bother to show their names, so I can’t put them here.
Mack Roesch, Todd Bourgeious, and Jessica Clayton all fell after the break.
- Chris Johnson, 38 year old Banker
Chris is running for his brother, a military veteran who killed himself after his service ended. And Johnson does 220 pushups every day to bring awareness to the issues of veteran suicide.
Johnson just barely missed completing Broken Bridge as he hit the platform, but couldn’t hold on.
- Eddy Steward, 34 year old Firefighter
Steward developed fame last year with the ladies as the peck-flexer. He now teaches a class on peck flexing (yes, really).
Steward nearly fell, stumbling across the Broken Bridge. But the firefighter held on and moved on to finish the course.
Eddy Steward, Course Completed, 4:16.16
- John Loobey, 65 year old Window Cleaner
Last season, Loobey became the oldest competitor to ever complete an obstacle. And he plays off “The Geriatric Ninja” name by coming out and doing pushups on a walker.
Loobey broke his own record (which he will do every year he competes and gets through a stage) by completing the Floating Steps.
But he wasn’t done. Loobey made it through the Rolling Pin before falling on the last part of Wingnuts.
Loobey also dropped his dentures in the water before picking them up and putting them back in for the crowd (Har Har Har).
- Kevin Carbone. 21 year old Tennis Instructor
Kevin is the man so many can blame for their fall tonight. He won last year’s obstacle design challenge by creating Wingnuts (Thanks Kevin!!!)
Fortunately for Kevin, he was able to complete the obstacle he invented.
And not only did he get past Wingnuts. Kevin celebrated every completed obstacle right up until he made it up the Warped Wall. Carbone proposed to the buzzer before hitting it as the walk-on completed the course.
Kevin Carbone, Completed Course, 3:07.73
After the break, Emily Durham fell on Wingnuts. But Alexio Gomes and Ryan Stratis both completed the course on their runs.
- Tim Miller, 29 year old Baggage Handler
Miller has shades and a fu manchu shaved into the back of his head.
With his girlfriend and her kids cheering him on, Miller made it through the first three obstacles before falling on the final step of Broken Bridge.
- Bootie Cothran, 48 years old From Possum Kingdom, South Carolina (Didn’t say what he did)
The lightweight Bootie is a regular who, before this season, had yet to hit the buzzer. And he still hasn’t after his qualifying run. Bootie managed to get both feet on the pad at the end of Thunder Roller, but couldn’t stick the landing.
- JJ Wood, 30 year old Stuntman
The Jerry West of American Ninja Warrior (He’s the poster boy for the show like Jerry West is the logo for the NBA), Wood shockingly missed qualifying for the city finals for the first time last year.
Woods had no plans of facing that disappointment again, qualifying for the city finals and completing the course.
JJ Wood, Course Completed, 2:35.07
After the break, Jojo Bynum fell short of qualifying for city finals. But Lindsay Eskildsen (a rookie who fell on Rolling Thunder) and Lucas Gomes (who completed the course) both qualified for the city finals.
- Jessie Graff, 33 year old Stuntwoman
Last season, Jessie Graff became the first woman to complete the 1st stage of the American Ninja Warrior course at the National Finals.
Jessie went over Broken Bridge without even moving the steps, qualifying her for the city finals.
Jessie fell after fighting hard on Rolling Thunder, an obstacle that’s taken many competitors out on the night.
Rochambeau Dolcine was unable to complete the course. But Travis Rosen and Rigel Henry were able to complete the course. Rosen’s was the best time of the night….
- Drew Drechsel, 28 year old Ninja Gym Owner
…until this guy took the course.
The question for last year’s top ninja was not whether he would finish the course, but how fast would he finish it.
And Drechsel left no doubt as he cruised through the course over 30 seconds faster than anybody else.
Drew Drechsel, Course Completed, 1:10.49
Your Top 30 from Daytona…
- Drew Drechsel
- Travis Rosen
- Tyler Gillett
- Casidy Marks
- Tukrong Klengdong
- JJ Woods
- Brett Sims
- Reko Rivera
- Ryan Stratis
- Lucas Gomes
- Sean Darling-Hammond
- Nick Patel
- Kevin Carbone
- Rigel Henry
- Alexio Gomes
- Dustin Fishman
- Michael Johnson
- Eddy Stewart
Failed on Rolling Thunder
- Les Bradley
- Michael Murdick
- Steven Cen
- Bootie Cothran
- Faris Xero
- Cedric Idudu
- Oscar Ramirez
- Jessie Graff
- Ricky Vu
- Josh Butler
- Royall Eason
- Jonathan Lurch
Your Top 5 Women….
- Jessie Graff
- Lindsay Eskildsen (Failed at Rolling Thunder)
- Bree Wilder (Failed at Rolling Thunder)
- Emily Durham (Failed at Wingnuts)
- Adriane Alvord (Failed on Wingnuts)
America Ninja Warrior heads to Kansas City next week for the fourth week of qualifying. See you then!!!
Photo Credit: Ryan Tuttle/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC