Mathis Owhadi came into season 10 of American Ninja Warrior with a lot of hype behind him. As a 19-year-old who’s trained with some of the best, and competed locally with them, fans were told to expect a lot from him. And Mathis delivered.
He hit buzzers in both the Dallas Qualifiers and City Finals. He also completed Stage One and advanced to Stage Two of the National Finals. Mathis made it to the Wingnut Alley, a pretty auspicious way to close his rookie year.
We talked to Mathis after his run to find out more about what it’s like to have an unforgettable debut.
On preparing for the National Finals
“I went a little too hard. I was actually really injured two weeks before the National Finals. So I wasn’t able to do any upper body at all. So when I did hit the National Finals, with the upper body is was kind of like testing it. But it went well, so I was happy with that.”
Taking on Stage One
“Stage One looked like a lot of fun and I couldn’t wait to play on it. But I also had to be very safe. There were a lot of technical moves. A lot of things were if I do make a mistake, there’s no saving it. It’s you make it or you don’t. But I knew I could beat every single obstacle.
It felt good. The Vegas desert is super dusty, so my throat was on fire. But I was super happy. It was crazy. Super happy that for the third time this season I was able to be blessed with another buzzer and being able to compete at the level I am.”
Heading into Stage Two
“Stage Two, I was a little more worried because it was a little more upper body. And my hands were hurting from Stage One. I iced it a lot before that night. I knew it was the last thing I had to do for awhile, so if I injure it, whatever. I’ll rehab it.
It was more upper body and seeing other people go out on it was kind of put me down. I saw a bunch of people I look up to fall. I was a little bummed out. I wasn’t as hyped as I should have been. I knew I could once again complete the course. It was just a matter of being able to stay motivated and keep my heart rate down so I’m not super gassed by the time I get to the very last thing. I really liked Stage Two. I thought I could beat it.”
“The last few moments were very weird for me. I kind of zoned in. I could only hear and feel myself on the course. I couldn’t hear the audience. I remember just hearing myself breath. Throwing the first Wingnut, catching. That’s when the audience zoned back in. I thought the distance between the two other Wingnuts was the same so I didn’t really spot it before I threw. I threw the same amount that I did on the first one and it just wasn’t enough to get me there.”
“I’m super happy. I knew I could have gone down on the Qualifiers or City Finals. I could have gone out on Stage One. But I’m still a little bummed out. I knew that I could have finished. I wasn’t pumped. If my hands would have gotten on to it, I would have got it. It wasn’t a matter of grip failure. I just didn’t throw hard enough. I was tired, but I could have taken more rests. There’s just things I could have done to finish the course. But overall, I’m super happy with how I did. I just feel like I could have done better. But I feel like anybody who doesn’t beat all six stages isn’t going to feel satisfied.”
Making sure he made the most of his season
That was definitely something I was thinking about. Just making sure I stayed on top of the list as far as the young competitors go. There are a lot of other young people training. They’re like 12 and 16, looking up to me. I wanted to make sure I could at least be in the top three of the 19-year-olds. All the 19-year-olds who made it to Vegas are all stupid strong. We all deserve to be out here. We all have the capabilities of completing Stages One, Two and, Three.