Stat of the week: In Denver some streaks reached unbelievable levels

Dustin Bradford/NBC

The Denver City Qualifier had the second fewest clears of any City Qualifier in the history of American Ninja Warrior, 8. Only the Venice Beach City Qualifier had fewer, 7. A large part of this extremely low number of clears was the 5th obstacle, the Rail Runner, which ranks as the second most difficult City Qualifying obstacle in terms of completion percentage.

That low number of clears rounds out a season which was already on pace to have the lowest average number of clears per City Qualifier of any season. Before the Denver City Qualifier, we saw 80 clears in the first 5 City Qualifiers, an average of 16 each. This pace was a full 2.6 clears fewer than last seasons average number of City Qualifying clears per city of 18.6. To give this a little more perspective, in order for this season to have a higher average number of clears than last season 32 ninjas would have had to complete the Denver City Qualifier.


[This graph shows how the average number of City Qualifying finishers, per City Qualifier has decreased each season. I look at this average because different seasons have featured different numbers of City Qualifiers.]

Instead of the 32 clears we saw 8. Which brings the average number of clears per City Qualifier down to 14.7. Nearly a full 4 finishers per City Qualifier lower than in Season 8. This drop is the third lowest between seasons drop in the history of the show. Only trailing the drop between Seasons 6 and Seasons 7, of 6.1 finishers per City Qualifier. And the massive 18.8 clear per qualifier difference from Season 3 to Season 4, which came as a result of some rules changes, and the expansion from 100 competitors to over 600.

The Denver course was particularly brutal taking out several top ninjas. Fan favorites like Jake Murray and Jon Stewart won't even be moving on to the City Finals because they were "bounced" (couldn't resist - they fell on the Bouncing Spider) into the water by the third obstacle. Just as devastating, were the streaks two other fan favorites saw come to an end. Brian Arnold had never failed a City Qualifier before, but he saw his shot at 6 consecutive completions come to an end when he hit his nose on the Rail Runner's transfer. As it stands, Brian's streak of 5 straight City Qualifier clears is tied for the 10th most all time. Meagan Martin also saw her quest for an unprecedented fourth straight City Qualifying clear come to an end on the Rail Runner. For context, no other female has more than one City Qualifying completion, Meagan had done so in each of her previous 3 seasons. Even still, only 23 ninjas have ever put together streaks of more than 3 City Qualifying completions in a row.


[In total 466 different ninjas have cleared at least one City Qualifying Course. The above figure shows how many different ninjas have cleared in a row. The x axis represents the number of consecutive completions while the size of the bubbles represents the relative number of ninjas to posses such a streak.]

Amidst the turmoil a few top ninjas were able to succeed. Dan Yager and Ian Dory remained perfect in City Qualifiers clearing their 3rd and 4th straight respectively. Ian's impressive 4 straight City Qualifying completions is still only half the current record. Lorin Ball was able to complete the brutal course and extend his streak to a nearly incomprehensible 8th straight tying Travis Rosen. Travis Rosen nor Lorin Ball received no airtime if they competed in Season 1, so to my knowledge, both men never failed a City Qualifier and they've been doing this a long time.


[88 ninjas cleared City Qualifiers this season, that means 88 ninjas have active streaks of at least 1 City Qualifying clear in a row. The bubbles represent the relative size of the number of ninjas with number on the x of consecutive City Qualifying completions.]

Focusing in on the 88 City Qualifying completions this season, a great deal of them - 43 were by people who did not complete a City Qualifier in Season 8. Obviously, Lorin and Travis's 8 straight clears are also the longest active such streaks. Now though, when we look at Ian Dory's 4 straight, only 8 ninjas have longer active streaks of City Qualifying completions. Similarly, Dan Yager's 3 straight completions ranks as the 13th longest active streak.

Not only has Lorin Ball cleared 8 straight City Qualifying courses, he's had the fastest time of the night in each of the past 4 seasons. Only 36 different ninjas have completed 4 City Qualifiers total, Lorin has completed 4 with the fastest time. I just got done describing how impressive it is for Ian Dory to have an active streak of 4 straight City Qualifying completions, but Lorin Ball has that same streak except instead of completing the City Qualifier that's how many times in a row Lorin has finished with the fastest time of the night.


[This graph compares Lorin Ball's City Qualifying times (green) to the fastest City Qualifying time (blue) and the average City Qualifying time (red) for each of City Qualifiers he has competed in.]

Lorin Ball in City Qualifiers is unbelievable. He's tied with Travis Rosen and Ryan Stratis for the most total City Qualifying completions, 8. He and Travis stand alone as the only ninjas to clear 8 in a row, a record that they will both look to extend next season. Lorin's speed puts him on a completely different level though. Only he and Drew Drechsel have posted the fastest City Qualifying time in 4 different seasons, but Drew did so in Seasons 5 & 6 and 8 & 9 (he finished with the 7th fastest time in Season 7). Other than Drew only Daniel Gil, Kevin Bull, and Elet Hall have posted the fastest City Qualifying time more than once. And only Lorin has a streak of 3 straight fastest City Qualifying times, and his current mark is 4.

In Season 2, Lorin did not advance to the City Finals because he finished with the 35th fastest time, and back then (rules changed in Season 4) only the top 30 moved on. In Season 3 Lorin finished 24.86 seconds slower than the average City Qualifying time, and barely snuck into the top 30 finishing 26th. Since that time he's been a speed demon. In Seasons 4 and 5 he finished inside the top 6 finishing a few seconds behind other top speedsters like Brandon Douglass, Jake Smith, and Paul Kasemir. After Season 5, Lorin has been unbeatable. His total time for those City Qualifiers is 321.94 seconds a full 345.73 seconds faster than the average time for those same City Qualifiers, whose combined total was 667.67 seconds. Meaning Lorin is more than twice as fast as the average City Qualifying completer in his same city.

The Women of American Ninja Warrior:

Instead of doing my traditional Bonus Stats section I wanted to use this part to highlight the amazing performances of female ninjas this season. This season the producers added a controversial new rule which guaranteed the top 5 females in each city a spot in the City Finals. So we will be seeing a record 30 female ninjas taking on the City Finals. Below is that complete list. However, before getting into that list I want to highlight the fact that even before this new rule we would have seen a record number of female ninjas in the City Finals this season.

This season, 9 female ninjas finished inside the top 30, which would have qualified them for the City Finals using the traditional rules. The number of female ninjas to qualify for City Finals has only increased. Starting in Season 5 when Jessie Graff (chicken costume and all - couldn't find the City Qualifying run) became the first female to qualify. That following season, we saw 3 amazing ladies not only finish inside the top 30 but they each completed their City Qualifying courses. In Season 7, 3 ladies again qualified for City Finals. Then last season, there was an explosion of ladies reaching the City Finals when 7 different women did so.


[This season a record 9 women finished inside the top 30. Here's a complete list of all the women who would have qualified for City Finals, according to the traditional rules of completion/ 30 furthest fastest.]

This year that number was stepped up to 9. 7 of the 9 women competed on Season 2 of Team Ninja Warrior. For 5 of the 9 women this will be their first shot at the City Finals. 3 of the 9 women are rookies who finished inside the top 30 in their first season. 4 of the 9 are ladies who qualified for City Finals last season. No matter their experience, all these women have proven they're legitimate threats to qualify for the National Finals (and not through another new rule which will automatically place the top 2 females in each City Finals into the National Finals).

All women moving onto the City Finals:

  • Zhanique Lovett
  • Tiana Webberley
  • April Steiner Bennett
  • Rebekah Bonilla
  • Natalie Duran
  • Barclay Stockett
  • Kacy Catanzaro
  • Sherrie Laureano
  • Kaiti Haymaker
  • Brittany Hanks
  • Jessie Graff
  • Lindsay Eskildsen
  • Bree Widener
  • Emily Durham
  • Adriane Alvord
  • Sarah Schoback
  • Annie Dudek
  • Abby Paul
  • Maggi Thorne
  • Sara Heesen
  • Jesse Labreck
  • Allyssa Beird
  • Tori Clement
  • Michelle Warnky
  • Annika Nieshalla
  • Meagan Martin
  • Jeri D'Aurelio
  • Tammy McClure
  • Larissa Cottle
  • Tanya O'Donohue

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of American Ninja Warrior Nation's writers or editors, or of NBC.

Trending Discussions