Lucas Reale currently holds the number one position on American Ninja Warrior’s top eight leaderboard.
As season 12 marches towards its finale, Lucas, in his third year on the show, has been continuing his streak of success. He made Stage Two of the National Finals in his rookie season. He then made Stage Three in his sophomore year. There’s no National Finals this year, but is Lucas poised for even more success?
All signs are positive at the moment. Lucas has ranked high on the leaderboards both in the Qualifiers and Semi-Finals. In the Finals, he bounded to the buzzer. He beamed at the back half of the course from the top of the Warped Wall.
Lucas’ smile gave away his excitement about even having a course to play on. “I was really excited when I found out season 12 is going to happen,” he told us.
“I think we were all kind of up in the air and I think for all of us, it’s something that we love coming to every year. So to not have it was definitely a huge bummer, especially when we had it right there in front of us. Obviously, it’s limited and there’s not as many people as all of us would like, but it’s just cool to be here with all the Ninjas and to see everyone crushing the course.”
While the pandemic threw off many competitors’ training regimens, Lucas wasn’t one of them. He stepped into season 12 with a strong foundation ready to serve him.
“I actually felt probably better than ever. And currently I still feel that way. I’ve been lucky enough to have a place to train throughout, which I’m just super grateful for. I think it’s helped me take that next step as a Ninja to keep on training and to keep pushing myself throughout.”
All that training went into play as soon as Lucas stepped on to the Qualifiers course. While it looked pretty dreamy from the outside, the run actually didn’t quite live up to Lucas’ standards.
“Qualifiers were awesome!” He said. “That being said, there were ups and downs. Obviously, this being a team-based season is something that I was super into. I’m always a team person. I love competing with people. I love having someone to share it with. So the fact that I have my two teammates, was super cool. But then to see them fall, it kind of put this extra little ... not pressure, I guess, but there’s this voice in the back of my head saying, ‘You’ve got to go faster. Come on. Let’s get Power Tower. Let’s bring them back.’
And then to miss it by ... I think it was like four seconds. It was such a bummer. And I was last runner of the day, so all of us were just waiting for, ‘All right, come on. What’s the time? What’s the time?’ And then to have it go down was not great. But obviously to hit the buzzer was incredible. So I can’t take that away, but not having my teammates here is definitely a little bit of a bummer.”
You know what cheered Lucas up after that? A Semi-Finals run to the buzzer that had us all cheering and filled one gap in his Ninja Warrior resumé.
“Semi-Finals was probably one of the highlights of my career. I think my past two seasons, the one thing I failed to do is hit a City Finals buzzer. So to be able to get there and to hit a buzzer, I think all of the emotion just came out after I cleared the ninth obstacle. I remember mid air, pumping my fist as I was about to land on the platform, just because I was so pumped. It’s just one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s one of the highest honors, I think. City Finals are a really elite pool of athletes who complete it each year. So to be able be one of those people who cleared was super, super cool.”
In speaking to Lucas just before his Finals run, he was relaxed and loose, ready to have a blast.
“I feel really relieved right now, honestly. I’ve been telling everyone, the most fun I’ve ever had on a Ninja course was Stage Three last year because I kind of accomplished my goal. That’s where I wanted to get to and then whatever happened, happened, you know? So I feel kind of the same here. The fact that I made Finals, I performed really well in my first two runs, I’m just happy to be here. I can’t wait to run the course. It’s just going to be pretty much all fun for me out there. And hopefully a hundred thousand dollars.”
Well, Lucas managed to have some fun and hit another buzzer. We won’t have the full results of the Finals course until next week. We’re not sure if Lucas will maintain the number one position, but we’re feeling confident that he’ll head to the Power Tower playoffs!