MIT faced off against Oklahoma, UConn and Texas A&M on the second episode of Team Ninja Warrior: College Edition. The team landed an incredible seven wins and will be heading on to the championship rounds.
You can read the full recap here.
The morning after their success in qualifiers, the MIT team got a chance to sit down with Jessie Graff, the American Ninja Warrior sensation who is the only woman to defeat Stage One of the National Finals.
Jessie took the time to learn about the backgrounds of each athlete and gave out some priceless advice considering they’ll have a chance to try it out in the championships. This was a chance to be mentored by the best of the best.
Jessie is not only an American Ninja Warrior National Finalist, but she also competed on Team Ninja Warrior in its first season. Her advice comes from a place of experience and expertise.
Tomas Cabrera has a strong rock climbing background, but also trained on Ninja Warrior obstacles with American Ninja Warrior Lorin Ball in Colorado. As a freshman at in high school, he took up cross-country running. Climbing came in his junior year. He’s been focused on Ninja Training for the past three years.
Amelia Becker is currently at senior at MIT. She’s been rock climbing since 8th grade, and can do a V6 level problem outside. (Jessie freely admits that’s something she couldn’t accomplish.)
About two years ago, Amelia took up Ultimate Frisbee, which has helped her reaction times and her sprinting ability.
Charlie Andrews is very close with another American Ninja Warrior National Finalist, Josh Levin. The two have been climbing together since 2004. Charlie even went to Vegas this past season to support Josh at the National Finals, and was a course tester.
How they rounded out their skills for College Madness:
Charlie’s time on the American Ninja Warrior course as a tester gave him a clear training advantage before College Madness. He learned that his climbing skills wouldn’t be all he needed, and he adapted his training to prepare to represent the MIT team.
How they faired in qualifying and what they learned:
When Jessie asked the team how things had gone in their qualifying rounds, the team humbly remarked that things had gone, “pretty well.” That’s quite the understatement considering they swept the competition and won every round they were in.
True to their MIT roots, the team was not all brawn on the course. They were making keen observations to help their success. They noted that it was important to grab the lead early to put the pressure on their opponents to catch up, causing them to be the ones to make split-second errors.
Jessie Graff talks to MIT: Pacing yourself on the coursePosted by American Ninja Warrior Nation on Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Advice from Jessie on how to pace themselves in the championships:
As the MIT team looks towards the College Madness championships, they had a chance to talk with Jessie about how to pace themselves on the course. Jessie advised them to always watch others on the course to capitalize on any time saving tactics.
Gauge your pace by how hard the last obstacle will be for you to complete, she counseled. Team Ninja Warrior does allow contact with the water, but it could cause issues. Wet feet make for slippery Warped Walls. Jessie cautioned them that sometimes it’s faster just to take your shoes off than trying to dry the soles with an opponent breathing down your neck.
MIT will head to the championships in just a couple weeks. We’ll see then if they can continue to dominate the competition.