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Daniel Gil’s quick decisions illustrate the importance of every second this season

Sure, it’s a race to the buzzer, but there’s a lot to consider.

Daniel Gil returned to the course for the sixth time with a little extra motivation. In season 11, he came closer than ever to becoming an American Ninja Warrior champion. Daniel made it all the way to Stage Four, but timed out before completing the rope climb.

Those few lost seconds have weighed on Daniel, and the Qualifying course reminded him that those slim moments can drastically change outcomes. His return for season 12 was explosive. There was not a single obstacle that caused him any trouble. But this season’s format offers some choices. Time is a huge concern. Only the top 12 can advance. The top two get to go to the Power Tower for a chance to bring their group members into the Semi-Finals. Then there’s the Mega Wall...

Daniel Gil is no stranger to any of that. In season 11, he made it to the Power Tower in both the Oklahoma City Qualifiers and City Finals. Seasons 10 and 11 saw him earn the $10k on the Mega Wall.

As Daniel raced to the end of the course, he had to make a decision. He was in a tough group of competitors. The top times for the night were absolutely mind-blowing. Setting up for the Mega Wall would definitely remove the possibility of returning to the Power Tower. But then again, with the top times SO hard to match, was it worth even trying to go for it?

In the end, Daniel opted to try for the money. He was shy of the time needed for the Power Tower, but quick enough to feel safe he would advance. The cash was just sitting there on top of the 18-foot wall. Daniel went for it. And for the first time, he didn’t get it.

Of course, he quickly re-adjusted and zipped up the Warped Wall, placing fourth for the night. That accomplishment is nothing to sneeze at. However, his run does illustrate that the Ninjas have to both move quick AND think quick this season if they want to maximize their success.

A veteran like Daniel Gil was probably just warming up. He’ll be back for the Semi-Finals where he’ll have a chance to make every second count once more.