Grant McCartney is known as the fun-loving Island Ninja on American Ninja Warrior. He always makes sure the audience has a great time watching his runs. Generally, he can also back up the performances with strong runs that propel him through the competition. Season nine held a shock for Grant and the fans when a miscalculation on the Salmon Ladder kept him out of the National Finals.
Back for season 10, Grant wanted to avoid a repeat of that. He fell on the Doorknob Drop in the Qualifiers when his foot touched the water during his dismount. In the City Finals, he would need to take every obstacle seriously. But there was still one invisible obstacle sneaking up on Grant: Time.
He started the front half of the course with his usually jolly demeanor.
On the Doorknob Drop, he made sure he had all the momentum he needed to safely make the landing pad.
Grant then spent a lot of time celebrating at the top of the Warped Wall. This was the first moment we started to get a little concerned for him.
Grant looked nervous as he took in the Salmon Ladder, the obstacle that had ended season nine for him.
He took each rung one at a time, making sure his hands stayed even.
Through to the Giant Cubes, Grant worked very slowly through the obstacle. We can understand his need to be cautious here, but the clock was definitely still ticking.
Exhaustion started to creep in for Grant on Baton Pass. He looked to be stretched thin.
At one point, he tried to flip his legs up in order to rest his arms. Grant fell shortly after when the move didn’t work.
Usually, we’d say making it to the ninth obstacle of the City Finals course would put you through to the National Finals. But this field of Ninjas was on fire. With nine finishers and many others making it to Baton Pass, it came down to time. Grant was just edged out of the top 15, which meant no National Finals for the second season in a row. It had nothing to do with his strength or ability on the course. It was just a small slip up in strategy.