America Ninja Warrior Season 9 Denver Finals
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, Salmon Ladder, The Wedge, Ninjago Roll, Elevator Climb
Yes, that Ninjago obstacle is named after the upcoming obscure third Lego Movie coming out soon.
Oh and the governor of Colorado is in the house tonight.
- Ian Weber, 29 year old Skateboard champion
You know those guys who stand in front of stores throwing signs up in the air for that business?
Well, that’s called shakerboarding, and Ian Weber is a national champion at that. That means someone somewhere saw a guy throwing that sign around in front of a Little Ceasers and thought, “Hey, that’s something that needs a completion.”
And how exactly do you judge such a competition? Ok I’m getting off track.
The shakerboarding Weber fell at Bouncing Spider.
- Larrissa Cottle, 24 year old Concrete Worker
The number 4 female qualifier fell on the Paddle Boards in qualifying.
This time, after some struggles on Ring Swing, Cottle made it all the way to the fifth obstacle, The Rail Runner, before falling.
After the break, Tammy McClure fell at Bouncing Spider, while Kyle Wilson fell at Rail Runner.
- Bart Copeland, 38 year old Concrete Business Owner
The “Concrete Ninja” was the number 7 qualifier and first finalist competing tonight who completed the course in qualifying.
And remember, this course produced the fewest finishers in the history of American Ninja Warrior in qualifying. Before Copeland’s run, no one had made it to the Warped Wall, much less up it.
Copeland ended that trend making it up the Warped Wall and to the back half of the course.
Copeland fell at The Wedge. But with the way the night has started, that might be more than enough for the “Concrete Ninja” to get to Vegas.
After the break, Tanya O’Donohue fell on the Ring Swing, Devin Stratton fell at the Salmon Ladder, and Nick Kostreski became the 2nd man to reach the Wedge before falling.
- Brandon Todacheenie, 29 year old Stock Clerk
“The Navajo Ninja” was the number 20 qualifier. He wants to be an inspiration to other members of the Navajo tribe.
And Todacheenie’s run was inspiring. “The Navajo Ninja” made it past the Rail Runner (the obstacle he fell on in qualifying. But he was unable to make it to the top of the Warped Wall.
- Jeri D’Aurelio, 27 year old Army Jag Corps Lawyer
The number 2 female qualifier (and number 24 overall) has improved each season qualifying for City Finals for the first time in her three years competing.
D’Aurelio had a great run going before she fell at Rail Runner, the same place she fell at in qualifying, placing her squarely on the bubble for advancing.
After the break, Ben Antoine and Carson Voiles both fell at The Wedge.
- Brian Arnold, 39 year old Gym Owner
Arnold broke his nose at Rail Runner in qualifying. This time, Arnold moved through it rather easily.
Last season, Arnold fell at The Wedge in the Los Angeles City Finals. Arnold came just short this time as well. But Arnold is one of five competitors who’ve made it to the Wedge on the night, giving him a good shot at qualifying for Vegas.
After the break, The Wedge took out Michael Salinzi and Dan Yagar.
- Lorin Ball, 30 year old Gym Owner
The top qualifier is motivated by a poor finish in Indianapolis last season and his inability to complete a City Finals course since 2012.
The “go fast or go home” competitor moved quickly through the course, clinching a spot in the National Finals once he made it to The Wedge.
And not only did Ball make it to The Wedge, he became the first competitor to get past it.
Now, does NBC have to give money back to Warner Brothers if too few competitors make it to their obstacle?
Ball fell at the Ninjago Roll, but he’s moving on to Vegas.
After the break, Andrew Duncan fell at Rail Runner, while Ryan Souter (a member of the Souter 7) qualified for Vegas after falling at The Wedge.
- Dalton Knapp, 21 year old Engineering Student
Knapp, the cancer survivor and brother of ninja competitor Drew, was the 29th qualifier.
And Dalton’s inspiring story continued as if he made it past the Rail Runner (the obstacle he fell on in qualifying) and all the way up the Warped Wall.
Knapp ran out of gas at Salmon Ladder, but he might be the night’s best story.
- Drew Knapp, 24 year old Gym Owner
Dalton’s brother and the number 4 qualifier had major struggles on Rail Runner
But he fought through it and made it to the backside of the course, where he fell on the Wedge.
- Matt Dolce, 30 year old Pharmacist
According to “The Flying Pharmacist,” most of the people in his chose profession are naturally quirky.
The number 14 qualifier made it to the same obstacle, Rail Runner, he fell on in qualifying.
This time, he made it past the fifth obstacle and over the Warped Wall before falling on the Salmon Ladder.
Before the break, Nate Dehaan fell on the Paddle boards, while Ben Burkhalter fell on Ring Swing.
After the break, Luke Chambers fell at The Wedge, Michael Stanger fell at Salmon Ladder, and Ninja Legend Sam Saan was disqualified for stepping on the middle on Paddle Boards.
- Jessie Lucero, 27 year old Ninja Coach
Lucero fell on his very first obstacle last year. This year, he became the 2nd man to make it to Ninjago Roll (brought to you by the Lego Ninjago Movie in theaters….).
Lucero fell at the ninth obstacle, but a man who waited a month in the walk-on line is now headed to Vegas.
After the break, Craig Richard and Yancey Quezada both fell on The Wedge and qualified for Vegas.
- Ian Dory, 29 year old Rock Climber
Dory has never failed to hit a buzzer in the city finals. And the number 3 qualifier made it easily to Vegas as he powered his way through The Wedge. Dory placed one foot on the pad, and it was enough to for him to hold on.
Then, Dory became the first man to make it past the Ninjago Roll (The Lego Ninjago Movie, in theaters…)
And after using his last bit of energy to make it up the Elevator Climb, Dory became the first competitor to hit the buzzer on the night.
Ian Dory, Course Completed, 6:56.33
- Meagan Martin, 27 year old Professional Rock Climber and Sports Model
No female has hit more buzzers in American Ninja Warrior history than Martin. But she failed to hit the buzzer in qualifying.
The number 23 qualifier struggled a bit at Bouncing Spider before making it past the third obstacle.
Then she became the first woman ever to get past the Rail Runner and ensured her spot in Vegas.
Martin hit the top of the Warped Wall and did a cartwheel to celebrate before taking aim at The Wedge.
Martin became one of many victims of the Wedge. But the Ninja Star will be in Vegas next week.
And Your Top 15 Heading to Vegas…
- Ian Dory
Failed on Ninjago Roll
- Lorin Ball
- Jessie Lucero
Failed on the Wedge
- Karson Voiles
- Ryan Souter
- Dan Yager
- Craig Richard
- Bart Copeland
- Drew Knapp
- Ben Antoine
- Brian Arnold
- Yancey Quezada
- Luke Chambers
- Michael Silenzi
- Nick Kostreski
And your top 2 female finishers….
- Meagan Martin (Failed on the Wedge)
- Jeri D’Aurelio (Failed on Rail Runner)
The National Finals are next week. The show announced twice during the episode that ninja legend Kacy Cantanzaro will be running for the last time next week. See you then.
Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
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