TV Recap: S09E08 – America Ninja Warrior Season 9 San Antonio Texas Finals

America Ninja Warrior Season 9 San Antonio Finals

Thirty four competitors enter the city finals course, with four obstacles added to the original qualifying run.

Your Announcers: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Kristine Leahy

The Course, In Order: Floating Steps, Tic Toc, Spinning Bridge, Sky Hooks, Pipefitter, Warped Wall, Salmon Ladder, Hourglass Drop, Spinball Wizard, Elevator Climb

  1. Nate Burkhalter, 31 Year Old Oil and Gas Engineer

The recently relocated Nate (he lives in Norway now) qualified 22nd, falling at the Pipefitter. But this time, “IllumniNate” skipped the last pipe altogether and soared past the fifth obstacle.

Nate made it all the way to the Hourglass Drop before falling.

Victor Juarez and Brittany Hanks both fell on their runs highlighted after the commercial break, falling on Salmon Ladder and Sky Hooks respectfully.

  1. Sam Ballard, 32 year old Warehouse Manager

Ballard qualified 28th and is running for his dad, who is battling Leukemia. And like Nate, Sam fell at Pipefitter in qualifying.

But unlike Nate, Sam fell on the same obstacle in the city finals once again.

After the break, Abel Rodriguez, the number 13 qualifier, became the 2nd man to make it to the Hourglass Drop before falling.

  1. Karsten Williams, 36 year old Personal Trainer.

Karsten is looking to make it four for four qualifying for the national finals. And the number five qualifier became the first competitor to get past the Hourglass Drop. But he could not get past spinball wizard.

Before the break, Sherrie Laureano fell on the first obstacle. And Cass Clawson, Jared Bandy, and Kevin Klein all fell at the Hourglass Drop. None of them looked particularly good attempting it either.

After the break, Jonathan Parr, Blake Devine, and Kaiti Haymaker all fell on their runs. Parr was another victim of the Hourglass Drop.

  1. Thomas Stillings, 23 year old Gym Owner

“The Genie Ninja” was the number 2 qualifier in San Antonio. And he became the 2nd man to survive Hourglass Drop by just barely hanging on after the dismount.

The same strategy of skipping the last rung also worked on Spinball Wizard.

And Stillings looked strong at the start of Elevator Climb before wearing out and falling about 20 feet up the 35 foot climb.

  1. Jonathan Horton, 31 year old Olympic Silver Medalist

The Olympian and 14th qualifier made it through the first six obstacles methodically.

But Horton became another victim of Hourglass Drop. The slow time could be enough to keep Horton out of Vegas.

  1. Kacy Cantanzaro, 27 year old Gym Owner

Kacy was the women’s second qualifier and is looking to make the national finals for the first time since her historic 2014 run.

She did make it past Sky Hooks this time (the place she fell in qualifying).

Kacy really encouraged her hometown crowd throughout the run to cheer her on as she just barely missed holding onto the Warped Wall.

Despite just missing on the wall, Kacy (as at least the number two female competitor) will head to Vegas for the national finals.

After the break, Tremayne Dortch and Brian Burkhardt became two more victims of the Hourglass Drop.

  1. Kenny Niemitalo, 30 year old Construction Worker

Kenny is running for his daughter Hazel, who received a kidney transplant in order to save her life.

Kenny’s family and kidney donor all looked on as Niemitalo made it through pipefitter, the obstacle that took him down in qualifying.

A crying Hazel watched as Kenny made it all the way to Hourglass Drop before falling, the same place so many have fallen tonight.

After the break, Will Smithee fell at Salmon ladder, while Brandon Pannell, and Jody Avila both fell at you know what.

  1. Nicholas Coolridge, 28 year old Acrobat

The number 6 qualifier became the third man to get past Hourglass Drop, guaranteeing a spot in the National Finals.

And Coolridge became the 2nd athlete to make it to the elevator climb before falling in a similar spot as Thomas Stillings.

After the break, Tanr Ross fell at Salmon Drop. And both Damir Okanovic and Grant Clinton both fell at Hourglass Drop. But Damir and Grant both qualified for the National Finals.

  1. Barclay Stockett, 22 year old Gymnastics Coach

“Barclay Strong” was one of the stars of qualifying. And a run past the Sky Hooks would guarantee her a spot in the National Finals.

Barclay wasted no time, flying through the fourth obstacle and guaranteeing her spot in Vegas.

But Stockett wasn’t done. She overcame the Pipefitter (the obstacle she fell from in qualifying and made it up the Warped Wall to a huge ovation from the crowd.

Barclay made it all the way to Hourglass Drop before falling, becoming the shortest competitor ever to make it up the Warped Wall.

After the break, Josh Salinas and Andrew Lowes didn’t finish, but still qualified for the National Finals.

  1. Brent Steffensen, 36 year old Gym Owner

Will we have any finishers tonight? Brent Steffensen came into his run with as good a shot as any of the final four competitors left competing on the night.

And the number 11 qualifier moved easily through the course, becoming the fifth person to complete the Hourglass Drop and qualifying for Vegas.

Brent had his hometown crowd going crazy as he approached the elevator climb. But like the others who made the last stage, Steffensen fell at about 20 feet.

  1. Daniel Gill, 23 year old Worship Leader

The number one qualifier was the last runner of the night and the last chance for someone to finish the course.

After completing the Salmon Drop, Gil officially qualified for Las Vegas.

But Daniel wasn’t done. Gil made it all the way to the elevator climb and made it all the way to the top.

But Gil nearly fell as he was hanging upside down, desperately holding on.  Gil used his legs to pull himself up, becoming the only competitor to finish the course on the night.

Daniel Gil, Course Completed, 5:50.65

Your National Finalists:

  1. Daniel Gil

Failed on Elevator Climb

  1. Thomas Stillings
  2. Nicholas Coolridge
  3. Brent Steffensen

Failed at Spinball Wizard

  1. Karsten Williams
  2. Andrew Lowes

Failed at Hourglass Drop

  1. Josh Salinas
  2. Brian Burkhardt
  3. Damir Okanovic
  4. Matt Holt
  5. Grant Clinton
  6. Abel Gonzalez
  7. Brandon Pannell
  8. Cass Clawson
  9. Jody Avila

Your Female Qualifiers:

  1. Barclay Stockett
  2. Kacy Cantanzaro

Nate Burkhalter just barely missed the national finals. Also left out was Silver Medalist Jonathan Horton.

Next week is the Dayton Beach Finals. Just four city finals to go until Vegas!!!!

Photo Credit: Ryan Tuttle/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

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