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Mitch Vedepo was just feet from completing the Kansas City Finals course

He was the only competitor to threaten the buzzer.

For Mitch Vedepo, it looks like his third season is the charm! While he’s been to the National Finals before, his run in the Kansas City Finals will make sure all Ninja fans know his name.

This City Finals course took the idea of brutal to an entirely new level. Few Ninjas made it to the back half of the course. More well-known names like Brandon Mears, Dan Polizzi and Lance Pekus had been pegged for the top positions. Mitch was the dark horse to be the night’s leader.

In the Kansas City Qualifiers, he’d fallen from the Bar Hop, but it was still good enough to get him to Finals. Once he was there, Mitch wanted to make sure no one doubted his ability to deliver on the course. The result was the best run of the night.

He sped through the first half of the course. The very difficult Crank It Up didn’t even offer up a reason to pause.

On the Bar Hop, the obstacle that ended his Qualifying run, he was just as confident. His moves were so forceful that the first bar dropped into the water after he lached off it.

With a big leap, he put that obstacle behind him.

As he completed the Salmon Ladder, he stared down the second half of the course. To this point of the night, very few Ninjas had made it this far.

But Mitch was ready to shock the crowd with his strength. When he missed a placement on the Floating Monkey Bars, he held a perfect lock off while he replaced the bar.

The new obstacle, the Iron Maiden, had yet to see any competitors, so Mitch went into it blind, with no example runs from other Ninjas to base his tactics on.

Breaking down the needs of the obstacle, Mitch made this thing look like a playground.

He became the first (and only) Ninja to successfully complete the Iron Maiden.

Now, he had to handle the Elevator Climb. Only eight Ninjas had completed this obstacle this season.

Mitch looked strong at first and got SO close to the top of the climb.

He looked exhausted, but he was within five feet of the buzzer!

While it was a tough moment to watch Mitch’s fingers peel back just feet from completing the course, it was, hands down, the best run of the night.

Mitch will move on to Vegas with his mind set on hitting a buzzer!