America Ninja Warrior Season 9 Denver Qualifiers
Your Announcers: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Kristine Leahy
The Course, In Order: Floating Steps, Ring Swing, Bouncing Spider (New Obstacle), Paddle Boards, Rail Runner (New Obstacle), Warped Wall
- Sierra Souter, 23 year old College Student
Sierra is the first of the Souter 7 from Utah: seven siblings who will all be running the course from Denver (well six of them will be this year, the youngest is not old enough to compete yet).
You’d think just one time the show would put a great run to lead off the show so we wouldn’t know what to expect.
Instead, we get the usual opening run fall as Sierra falls at the Ring Swing.
- Robbie Doman, 33 year old Home Depot Manager
Robbie is a veteran who spent years rehabbing a combat injury before moving towards ninja training.
And Robbie was the first on the night to get through the Bouncing Spider.
A really impressive showing by Robbie as he made it all the way to stage four before falling at the Paddle Boards.
After the break, Will Washington lost out on the first obstacle, Natasha Pfeiffer fell at Ring Swing while blowing a kiss to her son, and Luke Halterman just missed on the bouncing spider.
- Nate DeHaan, 30 year old Bush Pilot
All the way from Alaska, Nate trained with Nick Hanson, “the Eskimo Ninja.”
And according to Akbar, he is the first dog musher to compete on American Ninja Warrior (did that come from Elias Sports Bureau, Akbar?)
Nate got stuck out on the pipes of Bouncing Spider, losing his hat in the water. But DeHaan held on, spending a lot of energy before moving on to the second half of the course.
And Nate recovered, becoming the first competitor to complete the paddle boards.
By the time he got to Rail Runner, the Bush Pilot was out of energy. He fought valiantly before falling at obstacle 5.
- Jon Stewart, 55 year old Construction Manager
The oldest man to ever make it up the Warped Wall was in the middle of taking a year off to travel the world with his wife when he got the urge to come back and compete.
His wife and daughter were on the phone from France watching as “The Rock Man” fell at Bouncing Spider.
After the break, the remaining Souters took their shot at the course. Amy and Tessa both fell at the Ring Swing. Shandi fell at the first stage. Josh made the third obstacle. As for the last Souter to compete…
- Ryan Souter, 32 year old Software Consultant
…he made it just barely past the Ring Swing. Then, he went farther than any Souter before running past the Paddle Boards.
He did fall on Rail Runner, but may have a shot at qualifying for City Finals.
- Tammy McClure, 33 year old Winery Owner
According to Matt, a winery is a really good place to train for American Ninja Warrior. And the montage shows why: because wine barrels are great for practicing obstacles.
“The Wine Warrior” landed completely past the padding on Ring Swing. The awkward landing seemed to produce momentum for her, as Tammy made it all the way to Rail Runner (an obstacle no one has made it past yet) before falling.
My guess is her run will be enough to qualify for city finals.
Before the break, Todd Allen, Kevin Sullivan, and Leland Fertachia all fell at the Bouncing Spider.
- Andrew Duncan, 23 year old Electrical Engineer
Andrew is a super fan with a really embarrassing mom.
Well, at least Andrew seems to be cool with her as she is. Duncan’s mom screamed with every completed obstacle as Andrew made it all the way through Rail Runner (the first to do it tonight) and up the Warped Wall to hit the button.
Andrew Duncan, Course Completed, 3:36.25
After the break, Megan May fell at Ring Swing, Ben Antoine fell at Rail Runner, and Cannon Meyer fell at Bouncing Spider.
- Brian Arnold, 39 year old Ninja Trainer
Brian proposed to his girlfriend with a hunting session going on all around them. Nice work, Brian.
But Brian has qualified for Vegas every time he’s competed. Unfortunately for him, Arnold hit his nose on the Rail Runner, causing him to fall.
We’ll have to see if Brian’s time was good enough to get him to city finals.
After the break, Kelsey Couts fell on Ring Swing, Pierce Frazier fell on Bouncing Spider, and Billy Naverette fell on Paddle Boards.
- Ryan Sutter, 42 year old Firefighter
Ryan married the first ever bachelorette, Trista before millions of people on television, and they are still together today.
As for Ryan’s run on American Ninja Warrior, he fell at Bouncing Spider.
After the break, Dan Holguin fell on the first obstacle, Noah Hoffman fell on Bouncing Spider, and Matt Wilder fell on Paddle Boards.
- Dan Yager, 34 year old Salon Owner
American Ninja Warrior helped Dan find his biological dad. He’s watching from Korea on a cellphone.
And “Moves Like Yager” made an impressive showing for him hitting the buzzer for the third straight season. Yager was also the fastest time on the night so far.
Dan Yager, Course Completed, 1:59.65
- Sam Sann, 50 year old Gym Owner
The Ninja legend is coming off back surgery.
The back was not enough to keep Sahn from making his way through four obstacles and into the City Finals before falling just at the end of Rail Runner.
- Venn Johns, 42 year old Bullrider
The “Bullriding Ninja” was a former gymnast who’s making his first run at the course.
Johns looked great until he missed the pipes on Bouncing Spider.
After the break, David Peterson fell at Battle Boards, Nick Kostreski became the third finisher of the night, and Jeri D’Aurelio fell at the Rail Runner but qualified for City Finals.
- Michael Stanger, 33 year old Ninja Gym Owner
Michael’s wife has been in a wheelchair at every previous appearance he’s made on American Ninja Warrior. But a miraculous healing involving natural foods and rehab has allowed Michael’s wife, Enedina, to watch him while she stands and jumps this year (A really great story!!!)
Unfortunately, Michael fell at Rail Runner. But his time might be good enough to move onto City Finals anyway.
After the break, Matt Dolce and Brandon Tobacheenie fell at Rail Runner (both look good to advance, however). Drew Knapp became the 4th man to finish the course.
- Lorin Ball, 30 year old Gym Owner
The ninja veteran doesn’t just want to complete the course. He wants the night’s fastest time.
And in a race to the buzzer, Ball does it, claiming the night’s top qualifying spot.
Lorin Ball, Course Completed, 1:42.89
- Jake Murray, 30 year old Ninja Trainer
One of the great characters of the competition, Murray comes out riding a Segway. I would love to see him try the run on that thing.
Last year, Jake pulled a corn dog out of his fanny pack in the middle of his run.
This year, it’s just a bunch of speed at the start, completing the first two obstacles in less than 20 seconds.
However, in one of the night’s most shocking results, Murray went too fast and fell at the Bouncing Spider. Jake’s competition is done.
After the break, Rachel Rodriguez fell on the first stage, but she did say yes when her partner proposed to her. Ian Dory followed that up by becoming the 6th man to complete the course on the night. Bart Copeland also finished. And at 38 years old, he’s the night’s oldest finisher.
- Megan Martin, 27 year old Professional Rock Climber and Sports Model
The night’s final runner has hit the buzzer four times previously.
She wouldn’t hit the buzzer this time, but she does qualify for the City Finals after falling on Rail Runner.
And Your Top 30 From Denver….
- Lorin Ball
- Dan Yager
- Ian Dory
- Drew Knapp
- Craig Richard
- Bart Copeland
- Andrew Duncan
- Nick Kostreski
Failed on Rail Runner
- Brian Arnold
- Karson Voiles
- Ben Antoine
- Devin Stratton
- Michael Silenzi
- Matt Dolce
- Yancey Quezada
- Michael Stanger
- Ben Burkhalter
- Kyle Wilson
- Jesse Lucero
- Brandon Todacheenie
- Ryan Souter
- Ian Weber
- Megan Martin
- Jeri D’Aurelio
- Matt Reeves
- Sam Sann
- Luke Chambers
- Tammy McClure
- Dalton Knapp
- Nate DeHaan
And the Women’s Top 5…
- Megan Martin
- Jeri D’Aurelio
- Tammy McClure
Failed On Paddle Boards
- Larrissa Cottle
Failed on Ring Swing
- Tanya O’Donohoe
The eight competitors completing the course is the lowest total ever for a qualifying round. Also, three women made top 30 in Denver.
The City Finals start next week in Los Angeles. See you then!!!!
Photo Credit: Ryan Tuttle/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC