clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meet the 6 veteran Ninjas representing Team USA

You should recognize these faces!

David Becker/NBC

Team USA is represented by some of our most beloved Ninjas from American Ninja Warrior, so chances are you already know who they are. That being said, we thought it would still be fun to look through their stats and give everyone a little refresher on just how awesome of a group this is!

Drew Drechsel

Age: 30

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 165 lbs.

Hometown: Hamden, CT

Let’s start with team captain and ANW season 11 Champion, Drew Drechsel. The Real Life Ninja lives up to his name, having been a part of the Ninja community for nearly a third of his entire life. Completely dedicated to his Ninja training, Drew changes his sleep schedule in February to prepare for night-time filming. He attends every city competition to study the obstacles and never really stops training. Drew uses what some may consider unorthodox training methods, like using a 25 lb. weight vest and an altitude mask set to 18,000 feet during his workouts.

In December, Drew and his girlfriend April Beckner welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Korey Kade.

Daniel Gil

Age: 26

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 165 lbs.

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Daniel Gil has had his own share of success in ANW, making it through Stage One every year he’s competed. In season 11, he finished Stage Three one second faster than eventual Champion, Drew Drechsel, but then timed out on the Rope Climb.

Daniel released his first children’s book “The Little Ninja: Go Ninja Go” last fall and his wife Abigail did the illustrations. They are currently working on a sequel.

Jesse Labreck

Age: 29

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 145 lbs.

Hometown: Naperville, Illinois

Jesse “Flex” Labreck is back for her second year on USA vs. the World after crushing Stage Two and beating Europe’s Iris Matamoros and Australia’s Olivia Vivian. The gym manager made ANW history last season as the third woman to hit a buzzer in City Finals. She competed in the heptathlon in college and in October 2018 was inducted into the University of Maine Hall of Fame for athletics.

Jesse and fiancé Chris DiGangi are the first engaged couple to not only finish a City Finals course, but also get to National Finals. They plan to get married sometime in 2020.

Karsten Williams

Age: 38

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 170 lbs.

Hometown: Fairview, Texas

Six-time ANW veteran and six-time Vegas Finalist, Karsten Williams earned his nickname “Big Kat” because as big as he may be in stature, he is still nimble like a cat. Karsten’s best season of ANW was last year, when he made it past Stage Two for the first time and failed on Pipe Dream in Stage Three. Karsten Williams recently sat down with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth to talk about the competition and representing the U.S. The clip also includes a sneak peek, which you can watch here.

Karsten credits Ninja for giving him a purpose in life and his mom, Linda, has been on the sideline for every single run he’s ever done.

Michael Torres

Age: 24

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 160 lbs.

Hometown: Mount Prospect, Illinois

Michael Torres has been on ANW four times, making it all the way to Stage Three in last season of ANW (after failing in City Finals in season 10). He was the only winner of a Safety Pass who didn’t have to use it to advance.

Michael trains with his new pup, Hershey, a Yorkie who “doesn’t run out of energy.” Another fun fact: He met his girlfriend, Sarah, through a mutual friend at Michelle Warnky’s house!

Adam Rayl

Age: 26

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 175

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Adam Rayl has competed on ANW four times and has made it to Stage Two every year. In season 11, he made it to Stage Three and failed on the Flying Bar. Adam got into gymnastics at 8.5 years old and scored a 9.9 out of 10 on the Parallel Bars in his very first competition, so getting into Ninja seemed like a natural choice for the concrete worker. In the offseason, he spends time training with fellow Ninjas like as Jake Murray, Geoff Britten, and Jamie Rahn.