Review: American Ninja Warrior, Kansas City trials (1 June 2015)

The second episode of the seventh season of American Ninja Warrior continued with the Kansas City, Missouri, qualifying round.

This course had six obstacles:

1. Quintuple Step, as always;
2. Big Dipper [new];
3. Floating Tiles [new];
4. Modified Ring Toss;
5. Bungee Road [new];
6. Warped Wall.

The Modified Ring Toss and Bungee Road seemed to be the two most challenging obstacles. Most of those who did not complete the course fell on one of these two. It was easy to lose momentum on the Modified Ring Toss—if you didn’t have the upper-body strength to continue, it was easy to fall. The secret to Bungee Road seemed to be moving quickly and gripping the cords up high. The lower on the cord that a competitor held on, the less likely they seemed to be able to make it through.

There were several exceptional new contestants, including Steven Moul, a young man with autism, and Caitlie Shukwit, who overcomes the unfortunate combo of OCD and Tourette’s. Though neither made it to the end of the course, they both had respectable showings in front of a great, supportive crowd.

Return stars who made an impact include the Wolf Pack (the rock-climbing quartet who all competed impressively last season) and Meagan Martin, one of the first females to ever scale the Warped Wall. Paul Kasemir and Lorin Ball both raced through the course, finishing with the two fastest times at just around a minute. Ball finished in just 58 seconds, which might be one of the all-time fastest finishes in American Ninja Warrior history!

In all, thirty competitors finished the track, including a large number of walk-ons. Kansas City will be well-represented in the Las Vegas finals.

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