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11 years of hard work paid off for Brian Kretsch at the LA City Finals

Back at the buzzer, on the Power Tower, and back to the National Finals!

Brian Krestch knows what it takes to be an American Ninja Warrior. As one of only a few competitors who has competed on all 11 seasons, he knows it very, very well. He’s experienced almost every up and down the show has to offer. He’s made it to the National Finals, he’s fallen early, he’s even broken his leg on the course (in season seven) and needed to battle his way back.

But season 11 of the show seems to be where it’s all coming together for Brian. He completed the Los Angeles Qualifying course. In the City Finals, he was one of only two finishers of the course. Brian hasn’t claimed a City Finals buzzer since season four. That sent him to the Power Tower alongside Flip Rodriguez. Brian didn’t leave with the Safety Pass, but it sent him to the National Finals with a lot of momentum behind his year already.

Brian gave us a little insight on how he feels this year, what it was like to end up on the Power Tower, and what he expects from his return to Las Vegas.

“I mean, I do still have a strong passion for competing and the goal that I have not reached of getting to the top of Midoriyama. That’s always been what I’ve strived to do in this sport. It’s never been about money. It’s never been about fame or TV time. It’s always about conquering the unconquerable.

Dedication. Passion. Resolve. Yeah, that’s probably it. It’s hard to really put into words just with how much of my life it (Ninja Warrior) has been. I mean, my entire adult life, coming right out of college went into America Ninja Warrior and that’s all it’s been.”

“I want to go back to being one of the top competitors. Ever since I broke my leg, I have not performed how I used to and I want to go back to making a mark on this sport and being recognized as just a strong competitor.

After I broke my leg, the support and encouragement I received from the fans of ANW was incredible. I got so many comments and messages wishing me a speedy recovery and telling me how inspiring my run was. It filled my heart and helped me immensely throughout the entire rehabilitation process to stay positive and determined to compete again. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without them.”

Lara Solanki/NBC

“City Finals was a tremendous experience. Hitting that City Finals buzzer again, after so many years of drought, and the reasons I was doing it felt really good.

When I got to Leaps of Faith, I was feeling pretty pumped. Didn’t think I’d make it through that obstacle. Then I looked up at the tower, saw the buzzer, thought about my dad, and I was just like, ‘No, I have to do this.’ And kind of just set my mind right and got through the obstacle. Yeah. Hitting that buzzer felt amazing.”

“I didn’t know that I was in the Power Tower until after the final runner because I ran so slow. But yeah, no, I was not expecting the Power Tower. Frankly, I didn’t want it. So it was ironic that I ended up on it and I didn’t think I’d beat Flip because he’s a beast. And the Power Tower was kind of wasted on me and I think I appreciated it as much as I should have.

Making it back to Vegas again felt really good. Making it back in the second position is the highest I’ve ever placed. It gives me a sense of feeling like I’m getting back to where I want to be as one of the top Ninjas.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the (National Finals) stages have new obstacles. There’s been quite a few obstacles that have stuck around for a few years, so it’s about time that we see some new ones.

I’m expecting this to be my best year. I’m expecting to hit that stage one buzzer, stage two, hopefully stage three and four. But yeah, I’m feeling really good and really prepared and expect to do well.”

Brian’s next test comes when he returns for Stage One of the National Finals!