Indianapolis gave us a riveting Qualifying course (see the recap here) and the City Finals were a strong follow up! We caught up with some speedy Ninjas like Jake Murray and Lorin Ball. We also knew that the Wolfpack would be primed and ready to impress us.
Meagan Martin made her first trip to the back half of the City Finals course.
Brian Arnold completed the course and held the fastest time.
That is, until Jake Murray also completed and snagged the fastest time.
But then Jake gave up that title to Adam Arnold, who blazed down the course for the official fastest time of the night.
Lorin Ball took a surprising plunge on the second obstacle, the Rolling Log.
Andrew “Roo” Yori will continue to spread the word about dog adoption in Vegas, as he slipped into the 15th spot.
Here’s What You Missed:
Course Completions: 4
Ninjas taken out by new obstacle the Circuit Board : 3
Ninjas taken out by the Hourglass Drop: 7
What changed from the city qualifiers:
- Fly Wheels: 3rd wheel removed, creating a longer swing to dismount
- Disc Runner: Support pole cut in half
- Swinging Spikes: Fewer spikes places farther apart (now 9 spikes)
Ethan Swanson was the first Ninja of the night that we thought was going all the way. He gave an incredibly impressive run. He was the first Ninja to best the Swinging Spikes. He then went on to give us a look at a perfect execution of the Circuit Board.
All his energy spent, he took on the Invisible Ladder with more heart than physical strength. You could see the pain in his face as he almost reached the top. He lost his grip on one ring, clung to the other for a moment, before dropping to the mat.
While it was still a great run that planted him firmly in the top 15, it was hard to watch the glory of hitting the buzzer slip away, just a few feet from his grasp.
Meagan Martin just doesn’t seem to get tired of breaking records this year. She completed a “triplet” by being the first female to hit the buzzer on the Qualifying course 3 seasons in a row.
However, there always seems to be a misstep in the City Finals that sends her home before the coveted back half of the course. Nerves, miscalculations, who knows, because it certainly doesn’t seem like her strength was lacking.
But this was her night! Meagan steadily worked her way down the course, gave us all a good scare on the Warped Wall and then moved on to her longest City Finals performance ever.
She went out on the Circuit Board, but she locked in her trip to Vegas. This makes her the 3rd female Ninja to do so in history, after Kacy Catanzaro and Jessie Graff. It also means we’ll have 2 female Ninjas (Jessie and Meagan) to watch out for at the National Finals!
Lesson of the night: Strength in Numbers
Some of the most memorial moments of the night came from watching Ninjas who brought along their secret weapons: Their training partners.
The Wolfpack members train together in Colorado and also have a deep desire to see every member do well. The drive and motivation pays off. Both Ian Dory and Brian Arnold were some of the few Ninjas to hit the buzzer. The She-Wolf, Meagan Martin, wasn’t far behind them and will also be at the Nationals.
The Towers of Power, Brandon Mears and Dan Polizzi like to make light of their affection for each other, using “bro” as many times as possible in a sentence. But it became apparent that there’s a genuine connection here when Dan couldn’t even fully enjoy being told he was going to Vegas.
Dan sadly said it just wouldn’t be the same without Brandon. But Brandon quickly reminded Dan that it’s his job now to get him prepped for Vegas and support him the whole way.
Just another reminder that none of the Ninjas are really out there on the course alone. It takes a village to travel to Mount Midoriyama.
Here are the 15 Ninjas making their way to Las Vegas:
- Adam Arnold
- Jake Murray
- Brian Arnold
- Ian Dory
- Ethan Swanson
- Dan Polizzi
- Ryan Elliot
- Meagan Martin
- Eric Middleton
- Dan Banura
- Tyler Smith
- Tyler Yamauchi
- Ben Jackson
- Matt Wilder
- Andrew “Roo” Yori
What run surprised you the most? Lorin losing his grip? Adam Arnold taking the fastest time? Tell us here!
Next Monday, August 1st, we’ll be watching the Oklahoma City Finals!