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Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness will introduce the new generation of American Ninja Warriors

Young college athletes are going to transform into serious Ninja Warriors.

One of the very special parts of American Ninja Warrior is that it’s not competitor versus competitor. The Ninjas take on their own personal limits and the course, not each other.

But come on, we all love our college rivalries. Football or basketball, it’s fun to take part in supporting your favorite team.

Which is why we were to excited to hear it’s officially been announced that Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness will be hitting the air waves on November 22nd on Esquire. This head to head competition will feature 16 teams of 3 collegiate athletes each.

Rock climbers, gymnasts, pole vaulters, and even a frisbee player are throwing down the gauntlet to take home the championship title. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila will be on hand to provide their trademark Ninja Warrior commentary and oversee the competition.

American Ninja Warrior legend Kacy Catanzaro will be taking over the sideline interviews and offering her sage advice to the Ninja rookies.

The show will combine the thrills of Team Ninja Warrior, which is a side by side race down the course, with the passion of college rivalries and the hungry young blood of the competitors.

In Team Ninja Warrior, competitors from different teams take on the same course at the same time, side by side.

Here’s a little behind the scenes scoop: We’ve seen these athletes compete. They’re going to impress the heck out of you. They’re talented and are part of the next generation of American Ninja Warriors. Make sure you meet them early in their Ninja careers.

Here’s the college match-ups we’ll be seeing.

  • UCLA vs USC
  • Florida vs. Georgia
  • TCU vs. Houston
  • Michigan vs The Ohio State University
  • Wisconsin vs Maryland
  • Stanford vs Colorado
  • Oklahoma vs Texas A&M
  • UCONN vs MIT

Check out the full press release from Esquire here, including profiles on the upcoming Ninjas!



5-Episode Event Brings Famous College Rivalries To The Warped Wall As Schools Around The Country Go Head-To-Head For The Ultimate Ninja Bragging Rights

Already missing “American Ninja Warrior” now that Season 8 is over? Now you don’t have to! Esquire Network revealed today that the five-part special event “Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness” will premiere on Tuesday, November 22nd at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Sixteen teams, pulled from some of the most historical and deep-seeded collegiate rivalries, will run the dual course which includes even more challenging obstacles this season and a whole new strategy of racing. Both sets of teams will be comprised of three people – two men and one woman – who will battle it out on this amped-up version of the world’s most intense obstacle course. In each episode, four of the college teams will race against each other, with each individual win giving the team more points. At the end of the show, the two teams left standing will face-off in a relay race with additional obstacles – and the winner between the two will move on to the finals. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila of “American Ninja Warrior” will host alongside sensation Kacy Catanzaro, who will be the sideline reporter.

The following rival colleges and universities and athletes will be going head-to-head for this tournament:

  • UCLA vs USC
  • Florida vs. Georgia
  • TCU vs. Houston
  • Michigan vs The Ohio State University
  • Wisconsin vs Maryland
  • Stanford vs Colorado
  • Oklahoma vs Texas A&M
  • UCONN vs MIT

University of Florida

Melissa Hill

Training: Sponsored rock climbing competitor

Degree: Bachelor’s in Natural Resource Conservation and Political Science – entering graduate program studying Interdisciplinary Ecology

Dane Brooks

Training: Head coach of the UF Rock Climbing Club

Degree: BS in Psychology, Minor in Disabilities in Society – entering graduate school for Marriage and Family Counseling

Garrison Kalvin

Training: President of the University of Florida Rock Climbing Club and climbed at the 2016 USA Climbing Collegiate National Championship in San Diego.

Degree: Majoring in Mechanical Engineering

University of Georgia

Doug Legg

Training: NCAA Cheerleader and rugby player

Degree: Marketing/ International Business & Organizational Leadership

Victoria Case

Training: Competitive Club Cheerleader

Degree: Fashion Merchandising

Bradley Schleicher

Training: 4-year varsity wrestling letterman in high school

Degree: Health Promotion (Pre-Med)

Texas Christian University

Nolan Smith

Training: Member of the TCU Ultimate Frisbee Club team

Degree: Film, Television & Digital Media (planning career as a movie stuntman)

Alexander Parris

Training: Rock climber and previously competitive gymnast for 11 years

Degree: Computer Science, Minor in Painting Emma Beserra

Training: National championship cheerleading team who works as a personal trainer

Emma Beserra

Training: National championship cheerleading team who works as a personal trainer

Degree: Sports Psychology and Nutrition

University of Houston

Mathis Owhadi

Training: 6 years of training for “American Ninja Warrior”

Degree: Planning to study Kinesiology

Haley Houston

Training: NCAA pole vaulter, cheerleader for 12 years and trains in Muay Thai

Degree: Planning to study Kinesiology

Zach Tamayo

Training: Member of University of Houston’s club climbing team “UH Wall Crawlers,” works at Ninja Gym Iron Sports and is planning to commission in to the US Air Force Degree: Mechanical Engineering Technology & Kinesiology.

Texas A&M

Kaiti Haymaker

Training: High school track star

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

Will Smithee

Training: Trains at Sam Sann’s Iron Sports; coaches soccer

Degree: Biomedical Science (Pre-Med)

Collin Hummel

Training: Former competitive swimmer and diver

Degree: Animal Science


Luke Adams

Training: World Freerunning & Parkour Federation (WFPF) sponsored athlete

Degree: Business & Marketing, Minoring in Psychology

Perry Madison

Training: High school athlete who broke his school’s pole vaulting record his senior year, Parkour instructor at USA Ninja Challenge

Degree: Acting

Jade Sharkany

Training: Powerlifter, rock climber; in HS: pole vaulter, varsity volleyball, track & field (pole vault, shot put, discus, sprints), and field hockey

Degree: Communications


Amelia Becker

Training: Avid rock climber and Ultimate Frisbee competitor

Degree: Electrical Engineering

Tomas Cabrera

Training: Serious rock climber who competes in monthly Obstacle Course Racing competitions

Degree: Physics and Astronomy

Charlie Andrews

Training: US National Team for Speed Climbing and Sport Climbing

Degree: Math/Computer Science & Data Science


Carter Allen

Training: Active climber who worked as a blacksmith apprentice the summer before college to increase his arm strength

Degree: BioPhysics and Theater

Amanda Adams

Training: Dancer and ANW course tester

Degree: Dance and Psychology

James Vaughan

Training: Highlining, slacklining, outdoor rock climbing and bouldering

Degree: Computer Science


Antonio Ayala

Training: School’s climbing team, USC Marching Band

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

Julian Olea

Training: Rock climber who competed on the track and field team in high school

Degree: Biological Sciences

Noelle Crowley

Training: Rock climber who ran cross country and broke the pole vault record in high school

Degree: Environmental Studies, Minoring in Spatial Studies

Stanford University

Roshena MacPherson

Training: President of the Stanford Rec Climbing Team & Stanford Alpine Club, outdoor bouldering

Degree: PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Nam Cuong

Training: Member of the Recreational Climbing Team and previous Parkour coach at a Ninja gym

Degree: Graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering

Will Roderick

Training: Regional, National and International speed climbing competitions, co-founder of the Stanford Climbing Club Team

Degree: Graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering

University of Colorado

Alexandra Regenold

Training: Rock climbing, pole dancing and yoga - cross country in high school

Degree: English

Bobby Reedy

Training: Climber with certification to teach kids how to climb trees with ropes and harnesses

Degree: Political Science

Matt Normile

Training: Rock climber, hiker, high school athlete (wrestling and cross country)

Degree: Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics

University of Michigan

Karl Berkemeier

Training: ROTC member/basic combat training, college boxing team, All State high school athlete in cross country and track

Degree: Nursing

Joseph Craig

Training: ROTC member/basic combat training, half-marathon runner with ANW obstacles in his garage

Degree: Aerospace Engineering

Liv Lang

Training: ROTC member/basic combat training; marathon runner

Degree: Nursing

The Ohio State University

C.J. Raterman

Training: Free running and rock climbing, high school football and track

Degree: Criminology, Minoring in Security and Intelligence

Clay Raterman

Training: Crossit and calisthenics, high school football, lacrosse and track

Degree: Finance, Minoring in Entrepreneurship

Brynn Schlemitz

Training: High school and NCAA soccer

Degree: Business Finance

University of Wisconsin

Taylor Amann

Training: Division 1 NCAA pole vaulter and club gymnastics

Degree: Retailing and Consumer Behavior with certificate in Graphic Design

Andrew Philibeck

Training: Rock climbing, 2nd in high school State Wrestling Tournament

Degree: Business Administration/Marking

Zack Kemmerer

Training: Climber and four time Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Champion in high school

Degree: PhD in Biochemistry with BA in Chemistry and Philosophy and MS in Chemistry

University of Maryland

Marcos Colon-Pappaterra

Training: College cheerleader, Parkour, trains at Ninja Warrior gyms

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

Kevin Merrick

Training: College cheerleader

Degree: Computer Engineering and Mathematics

Delaney Jordan

Training: Acrobat and high school cross country/track and field athlete

Degree: Materials Science and Engineering

University of Oklahoma

Candace Caldwell

Training: Crossfit, member of OU Club Power Lifting team, high school cheerleader, basketball and all district softball player

Degree: Language Arts Education

Reese Tomberlin

Training: Competitive volleyball and beach volleyball, high school golf, baseball, track and football player

Degree: Energy Management

Taylor Neitsch

Training: Crossfit, NCAA division 1 baseball, high school football and All District baseball

Degree: Petroleum Engineering

“Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness” is a five-part special event that is part of the second season of “Team Ninja Warrior” that was announced in May. The debut episode of “Team Ninja Warrior” set records as the most watched series premiere with A18-49 in Esquire Network history, as fans tuned in to see their favorite top contenders join forces to take on the mother of all obstacle courses as a team. Throughout the season, the series continued to captivate audiences, peaking at the finale which ranked as the 2nd most-watched original telecast in network history with Total Viewers as team “Party Time” – featuring rock-climbing legend Brian Arnold; Jake Murray, a young protégé of Brian’s who trains extensively with his group; and stay-at-home-mom Jennifer Tavernier who became a break-out star on “American Ninja Warrior” – took home the trophy and title of the first winners of “Team Ninja Warrior.” Currently the season overall ranks as Esquire Network’s most watched original series in network history with Total Viewers and most-watched debut season with A18-49.

“Team Ninja Warrior” is executive-produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed (Hell’s Kitchen, Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, That Awkward Game Show), along with Brian Richardson as executive producer. The series is a spin-off of “American Ninja Warrior” which is based on the “Ninja Warrior” format from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc., and is a co-production between Esquire Network and NBC.