Much like last season's Philadelphia City Qualifier, the women stole the show in the Cleveland. Allyssa Beird became the 6th female to scale the Warped Wall in American Ninja Warrior competition, and also became the 5th woman to ever hit a buzzer. Jesse Labreck who paradoxically was the 5th woman to clear the Warped Wall in competition, last year when she did so in the Philadelphia City Finals, became the the 6th woman to hit a buzzer. This is the first time 2 women have ever cleared the same City Qualifier.
Not only did Jesse and Allyssa finish the course, they both finished in the top 15! The only woman to finish with better City Qualifying seed was Jessie Graff, when she finished 11th last season in Los Angeles. Also in a somewhat unfair across City Qualifier comparison, Jesses Labreck's 262.02 second finish was the second fastest by a woman ever.
American Ninja Warrior has seen its fair shares of duos through its time. For example, both men who summitted Stage 4 competed alongside their significant others. However, for the first time in the over 3,000 City Qualifier attempts (I have no idea how many couples have competed together), a couple is moving on the to City Finals together. And it's not just one couple, the boyfriends to both female finishers also cleared the Cleveland City Qualifier.
Since this is Stat of the Week, here's some more information on these "Power Couples" the only way I know how, with facts and data.
Allyssa Beird and James McGrath
- 5th Grade Teacher
- 2nd Season on American Ninja Warrior
- Qualified for the Philadelphia City Finals as a rookie
- Cleared 9 obstacles in her rookie season, 6 already this season
- Part of the Champions of Team Ninja Warrior Season 2, Storm Team
- 1st place in the National Ninja League Finals, Season 2
- 1st place in the National Ninja League regular Season, Season 2
- 2nd place in the National Ninja League Finals, Season 1
- Ninja Warrior Coach
- 7th Season on American Ninja Warrior
- Started as a walk-on in Season 3, where he made it all the way to Stage 3
- At the time James tied with David Campbell, Paul Kasemir, Ryan Stratis, and Levi Meeuwenberg for going further than any other Americans
- Cleared 141 obstacles in his career (before this season) - tied for 7th most all time, with Ryan Stratis
- Has never failed to qualify for the National Finals
- Holds the record for most fastest times in City Finals, 4. No one else has done this more than twice.
- 6-0 in Team Ninja Warrior Match-up Races across both seasons
- 2nd season of American Ninja Warrior
- 1st woman to qualify for the National Finals as a rookie
- Cleared 15 obstacles last season, with 6 more already this season
- One of only 3 female captains on Team Ninja Warrior Season 2
- Went 4-0 in her match-up races on Team Ninja Warrior
- 2nd place in the National Ninja League regular Season, Season 2
- 1st place in the National Ninja League Finals, Season 1
- Federal Consultant
- With a Masters Degree in aerospace engineering
- 5th season of American Ninja Warrior
- Reached the National Finals as a rookie in Season 4
- Has qualified for City Finals in 4 of his 5 seasons
- Prior to this season cleared 40 obstacles in competition, tied for 87th most all time
- Qualified for City Finals in season 8 as a walk-on
- Finished inside the top 5 numerous times in both National League seasons
- Anthony DeFranco posted the fastest time of the night for the second year in a row. Only Drew Drechsel (4), Lorin Ball (3), Daniel Gill (2), Kevin Bull (2), and Elet Hall (2) have had the fastest City Qualifying time more than once.
- Of the guys with multiple fastest finishes only Lorin Ball (3 in a row), Drew Drechsel, and Kevin Bull did so in back to back seasons
- The Cleveland City Qualifier was filmed on May 8th, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the NASCAR race at Talladega on May 7th!
- He also reached the 4th obstacle, the furthest any driver has made it on American Ninja Warrior
- At 54 Matthew Guardo is the oldest competitor to lose a shoe on the course. It didn't stop him though as he continued on, clearing the balance obstacle and nearly clearing the Ring Jump.