Jake Murray can’t seem to help himself. When he crosses the starting line on American Ninja Warrior, he’s going to go fast. Real fast. Jake had the fastest time overall in the Semifinals and had the fastest time on his night of the Qualifiers.
And he did it again! On night two of the National Finals, he put together a run that got him to the buzzer in 1:30.62. That was the top Stage One time by far, with the second-place run coming in about 30 seconds slower.
We mean, Jake has to be doing this on purpose, right? He must always want the top time.
“Not necessarily,” Jake told us when we posed that question to him. “It’s crazy. These past two years I feel like I’ve had issues. My heart has felt weird with cardio. I feel like my cardio has been off. I’ve been doing it. I definitely feel like I’ve felt better than I have in the past.
At the top of the Warped Wall, that’s usually when I take a second to assess how I feel. I felt great! I was like, ‘This is amazing! I’m hardly winded.’ So I kept going. It’s a good sign that my cardio is maybe the best it’s ever been.”
So what’s it like to race to The High Road, leap into the air, and actually catch a free ride to the buzzer?
“Terrifying! In the air, it’s a Hail Mary. When I jumped, I was optimistic but kind of thought I was too late. I thought the ship had sailed, but I ‘Burkhardt-ed’ it and got my fingertips on there. It was cool.”
Stage Two awaits Jake. Will he put the pedal to the metal again?
“Stage Two is the same approach as Stage One. I’m taking a more laid-back approach and not putting too much stress on myself. Even though I want to do the best I can. I’m not going to try any less hard. I just feel really good this season. Something feels really right.”
We’ll see Jake’s next run on September 13, during the season finale of American Ninja Warrior.