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Team Ninja Warrior College Madness recap: Comebacks and shut outs

We know our final four teams!

It’s been an exciting first season of Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness! With Georgia, MIT and UCLA all heading to the championships, we just needed to find our fourth team.

The match ups:

  • Ohio State University vs University of Michigan
  • University of Wisconsin vs University of Maryland

As always, a refresher on the Team Ninja rules is at the bottom of this article.

The Obstacles:

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

Things kicked off with Ohio facing Michigan. Ohio State’s team has the only two brothers to compete on the show.

The Teams:

Ohio State

  • CJ Raterman
  • Clay Raterman
  • Brynn Schlemitz


  • Karl Berkemeier
  • Liv Lang
  • Joseph Craig

Heat One:

  • Michigan’s Joseph vs Ohio’s Clay

Clay got the lead early and just blazed down the course. Joseph got hung up on the Ring of Fire and never had a chance to recover.

Point= Ohio State

Heat Two:

  • Michigan’s Liv vs Ohio’s Brynn

Brynn got her feet wet on the Sonic Swing, which is always a cause for worry. Both women had a brief pause on the Ring of Fire, but Brynn missed her transition on the Swing Jump and was disqualified.

Point= Michigan

Heat Three:

  • Michigan’s Karl vs Ohio’s CJ

It was too close to call until Karl slipped low on the Pole Grasper, cause him to struggle. CJ took the chance to gain some ground and snagged the last of the points.

Points= Ohio State

Winner of Round One: Ohio State University

Wisconsin and Maryland went head to head next.

The Teams:


  • Taylor Amann
  • Andrew Philibeck
  • Zack Kemmerer

Zack Kemmerer actually completed on season eight of American Ninja Warrior. His familiarity with the course would have to come in handy. Taylor Amann is an accomplished pole vaulter, sharing that in common with Jessie Graff and Meagan Martin. It definitely seems like pole vaulter skills are an advantage.


  • Marcos Colon-Pappaterra
  • Kevin Merrick
  • Delaney Jordan

Heat One:

  • Wisconsin’s Andrew vs Maryland’s Kevin

Andrew got soaked on the Sonic Swing but did not let it slow him down. He took an aggressive lead and kept it for more of the course. Kevin caught up on the Pole Grasper, but Andrew went for the Warped Wall first. He missed his first attempt, bringing Kevin dangerously close.

Both reached the top of the Warped Wall at the same time, but Andrew was able to pull himself up faster, reaching the buzzer.

Point= Wisconsin

Heat Two:

  • Wisconsin’s Taylor vs Maryland’s Delaney

Taylor calmly took the lead early and never looked back. She briefly paused as she approached the Warped Wall, but nailed it on her first try.

Point= Wisconsin

Heat Three:

  • Wisconsin’s Zack vs Maryland’s Marcos

There was some serious tenacity in this heat. Zack pulled ahead early, but Marcos took a giant leap on to the Pole Grasper to close ground. Zack used his American Ninja Warrior experience to charge the Warped Wall as fast as he could and secure the shut out.

Points= Wisconsin

Winner of Round Two: University of Wisconsin

Knockout One:

Ohio State vs Maryland

Heat One:

  • Ohio’s Clay vs Maryland’s Kevin

This was a nail biter! Clay had the lead, but began to have trouble on the Pole Grasper. He sank so low his feet were in the water. Somehow, he managed to muscle through and finish the obstacle just in time to meet Kevin at the base of the Warped Wall.

Both men went for the wall at the exact same moment and stretched for the buzzer. It was so close, producers needed to review the footage to determine the winner. In the end, Maryland took the win by a tenth of a second.

Point= Maryland

Heat Two:

  • Ohio’s Brynn vs Maryland’s Delaney

Brynn took a quick dive off the Sonic Swing, handing the win to Delaney.

Point= Maryland

Heat Three:

  • Ohio’s CJ vs Maryland’s Marcos

The Pole Grasper closed the slight lead CJ had over Marcos. However, CJ was able to dismount first and blazed up the Warped Wall, forcing a Sudden Death round.

Points= Ohio State

Sudden Death:

  • Ohio’s CJ vs Maryland’s Marcos

The Pole Grasper is the great equalizer on this course. The men were tied up until Marcos took another huge leap on to this obstacle. CJ slipped, slowing him down drastically, while Marcos headed up the wall.

Point= Maryland

Ohio State is OUT.

Ohio State went from being the first round winner to heading home. Maryland would advance to the relay race after first suffering a shut out.

Knockout Two:

Wisconsin vs Michigan

Heat One:

  • Wisconsin’s Andrew vs Michigan’s Joseph

Unfortunately for Joseph, there wasn’t much of a contest here. Andrew was so far ahead he had time to do a flip off the Floating Tiles. He completed the course in only 40 seconds.

Point= Wisconsin

Heat Two:

  • Wisconsin’s Taylor vs Michigan’s Liv

Another quick one. Liv fell on the Sonic Swing, and Taylor didn’t need to complete the course.

Point= Wisconsin

Heat Three:

  • Wisconsin’s Zack vs Michigan’s Karl

Okay, Wisconsin, we get it, you’re strong. Zack took the lead and the points.

Points= Wisconsin

The University of Michigan is OUT.

Wisconsin thought they’d shaken Maryland off in the first round shut out, but they would now face them again.

Wisconsin vs Maryland 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.

Maryland’s Delaney and Wisconsin’s Taylor would start the heat.

After they completed the Swing Jump, Maryland’s Kevin and Wisconsin’s Andrew would be tagged in.

They would complete the Warped Wall and then tag in Maryland’s Marcos and Wisconsin’s Zack. Marcos and Zack would take on the final three obstacles.

  • Dueling Salmon Ladders
  • Globe Graspers
  • 40 foot Final Climb

Relay Race

Delaney did her best to stick close to the swift Taylor, but Taylor reached her teammate first, tagging in Andrew.

Andrew and Kevin looked to be close together on the Pole Grasper, but once again Wisconsin pulled ahead and tagged in Zack.

Zack was already on the Globe Grasper by the time Marcos had a chance to get on the Salmon Ladder. Zack had such a strong lead that there was just no way Marcos could catch up unless a major error occurred on Wisconsin’s part.

There was so such error to be had and Wisconsin soundly won the match.

Maryland is heading home as the University of Wisconsin snags the last spot in the College Madness Championships!

It all comes down to next week!

The University of Georgia, MIT, UCLA and University of Wisconsin will battle it out to be the first champions of Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness!


  • 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.