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Team Ninja Warrior College Madness bursts on the scene with nail-biting runs

TCU vs Houston and Florida vs Georgia

The wait is over! The highly anticipated Team Ninja Warrior College Madness made it’s debut with two epic match ups.

  • TCU vs Houston
  • Florida vs Georgia

The new show features some American Ninja Warrior classics. Of course, we have Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila calling the runs with their endless enthusiasm. Joining them on the sidelines of College Madness is Ninja Warrior legend Kacy Catanzaro.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how the Team Ninja Warrior format works:

  • There are three Ninjas on each team.
  • Competitors from each team run the course side by side.
  • The first two heats are worth one point each. The third heat, also called the anchor run, is worth two points. If there is a tie after that, they’ll go into a sudden death heat.
  • The first round winner will then face the first round loser in a knockout round of three heats.
  • The winners of the knockout round will then face off in a relay race to move on to the championships!
  • Touching the water is allowed as long as you don’t lose your grip on the obstacle entirely.

The Obstacles:

  • Sonic Swing
  • Ring of Fire
  • Swing Jump
  • Floating Tiles
  • Pole Grasper
  • Warped Wall

Up first is the University of Houston versus Texas Christian University.

The Teams:


  • Haley Houston
  • Mathis Owhadi
  • Zach Tamayo

(Both Mathis and Zach train with Daniel Gil and Sam Sann at Iron Sports Fitness in Houston.)


  • Emma Beserra
  • Nolan Smith
  • Alexander Parris

Heat One:

  • TCU’s Alexander vs Houston’s Zach

Alexander leapt out for an early lead, but Zach quickly put an end to that. Alexander got to the Pole Grasper first, but Zach chased him down and flew up the Warped Wall.

Point: Houston

Heat Two:

  • TCU’s Emma vs Houston’s Haley

Haley got the early lead, but Emma had matched her by the time they reached the Ring of Fire. Haley lost the lead at the Swing Jump and slipped her foot into the water, giving Emma a healthy advantage.

But Emma hesitated on the Floating Tiles and Haley didn’t let the opportunity slip past her. On the Pole Grasper, Haley finished first.

Both girls seemed intimidated by the Warped Walls, going at them one at a time instead of racing for the finish. In the end, Emma managed to hook her fingers on the ledge and take the point.

Point: TCU

Heat Three:

  • TCU’s Nolan vs Houston’s Mathis

Whoa! Mathis screams through the course. He’s almost flawless. Nolan made an attempt to catch up on the Pole Grasper but Mathis was unstoppable and made short work of the Warped Wall.

Points: Houston

Winner of round one: University of Houston

Next, the University of Florida vs the University of Georgia.

The Teams:


  • Garrison Kalvin
  • Dane Brooks
  • Melissa Hill


  • Dave Legg
  • Victoria Case
  • Bradley Schleicher

Heat One:

  • Florida’s Dane vs Georgia’s Bradley

Bradley snagged the early lead and took off running. Dane missed the grab on the Swing Jump and completely wiped out. This disqualified him and gave the win to Georgia.

Point= Georgia

Heat Two:

  • Florida’s Melissa vs Georgia’s Victoria

Holy crap, look at the cut on Melissa’s forehead! She has six stitches and is still on the course. Despite her injury, Melissa takes the lead out of the gate. Victoria gets a little hung up on the Swing Jump, allowing Melissa to get to the Pole Grasper first. Victoria ends up falling from the Pole Grasper, meaning Melissa didn’t need to complete the Warped Wall to get the win.

Which might have saved Florida, because Melissa looks totally exhausted and that cut is just painful to look at!

Point= Florida


Heat Three:

  • Florida’s Garrison vs Georgia’s Doug

After a tie at the start, Garrison fell from the Ring of Fire, handing the win to Doug.

Points= Georgia

After that painful loss, Florida needed to rally and face Houston immediately in the knockout round.

Knockout One

Round One:

  • Houston’s Zach vs Florida’s Dane

Zach again goes for an impressive lead. Dane made an attempt to catch up on the Swing Jump, but Zach pulled ahead once again. They met up on the Pole Grasper, but Zach’s ease with the Warped Wall gives them the win.

Point= Houston

Round Two

  • Houston’s Haley vs Florida’s Melissa

The women tied it up early on the course until Haley got the jump on Melissa on the Ring of Fire. She held the lead all the way to the end of the course. In a heart-stopping moment, Haley missed her first attempt on the Warped Wall, which could have been an opening for Melissa. However, on her second attempt, Haley got the buzzer.

Point= Houston

Round Three

  • Houston’s Mathis vs. Florida’s Garrison

The run starts off too close to call and the guys both understand the importance of winning this heat. This will force a sudden death, or send Florida home. Mathis reaches the Pole Grasper first, but Garrison is close behind. All that training with Daniel Gil comes in handy though, as Mathis has no trouble with the Warped Wall.

Points= Houston

University of Florida is OUT. (Now someone PLEASE get Melissa some ice for her head!)

Knockout Two

Round One

  • Georgia’s Victoria vs TCU’s Emma

Victoria went out very early on the Sonic Swing. This gives Emma an easy win.

Point= TCU

Round Two

  • Georgia’s Bradley vs TCU’s Alexander

These are two strong competitiors. It’s a tight race at first, but Alexander puts the pedal to the metal and breaks into a lead that he holds all the way to the buzzer.

Point= TCU

Round Three

  • Georgia’s Doug vs TCU’s Nolan

This is all or nothing for Georgia. They need to go big and force a tie breaker. Luckily, Doug is the man to do it. He speeds through the course maintaining a strong lead the whole way and completing the course in just 45 seconds!

Points= Georgia

Sudden Death

  • Georgia’s Doug vs TCU’s Alex

Doug immediately heads back out on to the course to fight for Georgia once again. He is relentless. He nails the course once again and beats his own record by finishing the course in 42 seconds. Alex had no chance to catch up.

Texas Christian University is OUT!

Georgia vs Houston in the Relay Run

In the relay, all three team members will be on the course at the same time. Each will complete three obstacles, meaning the course is extended. It’s up to each team to decide which member runs when.

Georgia’s Victoria will face Houston’s Haley.

After the Swing Jump, Georgia will tap in Bradley, and Houston will bring in Mathis.

At the top of the Warped Wall waits Georgia’s Doug and Houston’s Zach. They will face the three new obstacles.

  • Dueling Salmon Ladders
  • Globe Graspers
  • Final Climb: A 40 foot rope

Relay Run

Haley is the first to complete the Rope Swing and taps in Mathis. This gives them a strong lead as Mathis has been a fast competitiors all day. They gain the jump again when Mathis taps in Zach before Bradley can reach Doug.

Then, in a shocking turn of events, Zach miscalculates his jump up on the Salmon Ladder and plummets into the water, handing the win to Georgia.

Houston looks crushed as Georgia celebrates their success.

The University of Georgia moves on to the championships!

Next week:

  • Oklahoma vs Texas A&M
  • UConn vs MIT