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American Ninja Warrior Season 8 Atlanta qualifying recap: Things are moving fast now

We breakdown how things shaped up with the Atlanta Qualifying runs.

American Ninja Warrior headed to Atlanta this week and the competition for fastest time was fierce. Ninja veterans Drew Drechsel and James McGrath both went for speed, but it was Drew who took the top time of the night, beating out Farmer Ninja Caleb Watson by a good 10 seconds.

Speaking of Caleb, the unconventional competitor revealed that he doesn't actually train on any Ninja obstacles. Instead, he gave credit for his strength to his work on his dairy farm, including good old fashion cow-milking. And Crazy Neil Craver set a bunch of stuff on fire. No surprise there.

Here’s What You Missed

Course Completions: 27

Ninjas taken out by new obstacle Pipe Fitter: 6

Ninjas taken out by the classic Big Dipper: 9

Heartbreaker Moment:

JJ Woods is a Ninja rockstar who has made it to Vegas all three years he's competed. He's been an early favorite to be in the top three finishers for the night, which is why it was so shocking to see him go out the second obstacle, the Big Dipper. He made a very valid point after he climbed out of the water. "A lot of people didn't expect it to happen to me, but in reality it can happen to anybody."

Heart-pounding Moment:

If you didn't get a little emotional when Spencer Wyckoff took the course, you have a heart of steel. Spencer runs for his little sister, Carden, who has muscular dystrophy. In fact, he's taken on other obstacle course races while carrying her on his back. The love between those siblings is so darn strong that we all felt like a part of their family for a few moments. Spencer might have gone out on the Pipe Fitter, but watching him get there was one of the proudest moments of the night.

Lesson of the night: Never underestimate the steps that get you to the goal

The Big Dipper took out a considerable amount of Ninjas last night and it was only the second obstacle on the course. Were the Ninjas were putting the goal before the process? Were they thinking more about the Warped Wall and the buzzer more than the next obstacle that laid ahead? The American Ninja Warrior obstacles are all designed to be beasts, but some are more deceiving than others. The Big Dipper can look like an easy net swing, but it proved its worth and drove home its lesson hard: Never expect that any obstacle is a given.

Here’s the 30 Ninjas you'll see at the Atlanta City Finals!

  • Drew Drechsel
  • Caleb Watson
  • Neil Craver
  • James McGrath
  • Tyler Martin
  • Chris Boehm
  • Brett Sims
  • Justin Maina
  • Mack Roesch
  • Kenneth Niemitalo
  • Travis Rosen
  • Casey Suchocki
  • Todd Bourgeois
  • Reko Rivera
  • Danny Adair
  • Jonathan Ruiz
  • Yuri Force
  • Jojo Bynum
  • Shawn Richardson
  • Chad Hohn
  • Eddy Stewart
  • Jeff Harvey
  • Mike Chick
  • Alexio Gomes
  • Brent Ruffin
  • Lucas Gomes
  • Joesph Green II
  • Rodolfo Burgos
  • Bobby Bohannon
  • Chris Moore

Up next, we have the Indianapolis Qualifying episode on Monday, June 13th. (Be sure you take note of the new day!) We'll be catching up with the Wolfpack members, Brian Arnold, Dan Yager, Ian Dory and Meagan Martin. With Indy Car and Nascar drivers on the course, will we see the fastest times of the season?