During Monday night’s championship, Labreckfast Club was able to outlast Party Time and Team Ronin en route to the American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja Championship! The team of Jesse Labreck, Jon Alexis and Chris DiGangi used a complete team effort to win both of their relay match ups, including a close, title-clinching final battle. We caught up with Labreck after their big victory so that she could give insight into the ups and downs of the final relays of the season.
How were you guys feeling as a team going into the finals night?
Jesse Labreck: If you asked Chris and I, we were thinking we made it here, this is fun. We’re just going to be happy no matter what happens because we didn’t even think we were going to make the finals.
But if you ask Jon, he was like “We’re going to win this whole thing. We’ve got this. We can do this.” Chris and I were not as confident in ourselves, we were just planning on taking it one race at a time and just hoping for the best. That was basically how we approached the whole season.
In the relay against Party Time, they were leading until Jon suddenly turned on the blasters at the end. Were you getting worried at all during that relay?
JL: I wasn’t worried, I was just hoping that Jon was going to do what he did – which is use how long his arms are and use his strength to really power through that obstacle. He was definitely built for an obstacle like that where he could use everything he has to his advantage to fly through it.
Did you guys discuss any strategy changes when you realized you were going to be facing Team Ronin?
JL: We knew that JJ and Flip were both very, very fast and so I don’t think it really mattered to us if Chris went up against JJ or Flip or Jon did. I think we looked at them as equally as fast. We were just hoping to get at least a couple points on the board so that way it wasn’t going to be a clean sweep. We wanted it to at least come to a relay.
Chris had a pretty early exit in his race. He looked pretty devastated about it and it seemed like you came to have a talk with him. What were you guys talking about and what was going through his mind in that moment?
JL: He knew that he was racing JJ and he knew that it was going to be a really hard race so he was going to have to go 100%. He was trying to get every single second he could, even from the beginning. So he made a little slip up and he hadn’t really done something like that before. He was upset and didn’t want to let us down, so I went over and told him that everything was fine. We still had so many races to run and it wasn’t over. I’m going to try and get a point and then Jon’s going to try to get a point and we’re going to try to go to relay. Keep your head up so that way, when we go to relay, you’re solid then.
How was that experience for you when you realized Meagan had an early fall in her race with you?
JL: That’s not what I wanted at all. I was really hoping for us to battle it out and have a really good race together. I never want to beat somebody because they fall early. It just doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel right. I was definitely bummed for Meagan. I was excited that we had a point and that we were going to a relay, but it’s not how I wanted it to go down.
You and Meagan both took the last legs of the relay. Is that something that you guys as the two teams discussed? How did that come to be that you guys both took the last leg?
JL: Both teams were trying to figure out how we wanted to do the relay. We were guessing where they were going to put their people and they were guessing where we were going to put ours. Finally, we were just like “let’s just talk about”.
We did end up talking to each other and kind of figuring it out. Instead of telling the producers what we’re going to do and then changing it if we don’t like the match up, let’s just make this fair, this is still fun and we’re still all friends, so let’s figure this out.
#NinjaVsNinja final feels!— Ninja Warrior (@ninjawarrior) June 19, 2018
Thanks for tweeting with us this season and congratulations to all the Ninjas who competed! pic.twitter.com/f23aGqE6FE
How did it feel to become champions?
JL: It’s pretty crazy. We couldn’t believe it when it was happening. Sometimes still we’ll look at each other and be like “Wow!” We can’t believe that happened! When you look at the whole week, it seems so unreal that happened to us. I just wasn’t expecting it, so it’s really awesome.
Congrats to Labreckfast Club on their incredible performances this season and best of luck to Jesse, Jon and Chris in American Ninja Warrior Season 10!