American Ninja Warrior "Mid-South Regional Finals" Review
We're down in Texas for the Mid-South Regional Finals. Will the talent be bigger in Texas? We'll have to wait and see. Many have earned a trip to Las Vegas in the pursuit of conquering Mt. Midoriyama, so the talent in the Mid-South is going to have to prove themselves worthy in order to earn a spot to Vegas.
The Mid-South Regional Finals are set up like this:
As always, you start off with the Quad Steps. After conquering the four steps of doom, you attempt the Log Grip. Once you've passed that, you try to run across the Bridge of Blades so that you can leap up to the Jump Hang. After completing the Jump Hang, you try a new obstacle called the Rope Junction. The goal is to get across each hanging rope one-by-one until you jump off and make your way to the Warped Wall. If you can make it up the wall, you head to the Salmon Ladder and then to another new obstacle. The Lamp Grasper is exactly what it sounds like. You have to grip each hanging lamp and try to make your way across the way. If you can finish that, then only the Cargo Climb is left. Once you have climbed to the top, then you've finished the course.
Just like in previous weeks, there were a few notable contestants that attempted the course. This is what happened to a few of them:
Angel Flores was the victim of a brutal assault when a few thugs threw a large brick through a window which landed on his stomach and sliced him open. He was in the hospital for months and was even in a coma for a few weeks out of the time. It took a long time for him to fully recover, and he wants to prove it to himself that he has what it takes to conquer the course. He started off the course well but then got into a bit of trouble. Angel actually lost a shoe and was forced to continue without it. He raced across part of the course in his socks before he realized that it wasn't working out well for him. He attempted to finish the course barefoot, but he wasn't able to scale the Warped Wall that way and was unable to finish the course. I think he could've finished the course if he hadn't lost his shoe. It looked like he was doing well early on so it was a shame to see him eliminated that way.
Alan Connealy works as a chiropractor and he tends to mostly work with athletes. He started to talk to some of his clients about parkour and he developed a big interest in the sport. Alan became so interested that he began to practice and eventually became quite good at it. He has competed in past Ninja Warrior events so he has some much needed experience that could greatly help him as he attempts to conquer the course. He starts off on the course at a blazing speed. I mean he really flew through most of it. I think he made it to the Rope Junction in just under a minute which is very impressive. He seemed to get slow down a bit and showed some major signs of fatigue. By the time he reached the Lamp Grasper, he looked beat. Alan made it about half way through before he fell into the water and was unable to finish the course. I think he used up too much energy in trying to be the fastest person through the course. He did great early on but he did so at a big price.
One last notable contestant that I'll cover this week was Bob Pondrom. Bob is going to have a unique trip through the course as he is a very tall guy and so that could go either way for him on certain obstacles. When Bob isn't training for Ninja Warrior, he is a personal trainer with a pretty cool hobby. He races bikes at over a hundred miles per hour and he says that it's quite the battle controlling those bikes. I can imagine that trying to move a bike while going over a hundred can be quite the handful. Bob starts off the course the opposite way that he rides his bikes. He was very slow going through the Quad Steps and he took quite the methodical way through the course. He slowly went through obstacle to obstacle and seemed to have issues on the Lamp Grasper. Bob tried to use his size as an advantage but it just wasn't going to work out that way. He figured out what he was doing wrong and powered through the rest. Bob ended up finishing the course and is headed to Las Vegas. While he wasn't the fastest by any means, he was able to finish the course and that's all that really matters.
The talent was deep in the Mid-South and we saw a lot of strong contendors. There were a few people that I think are going to do really well in Vegas so I'm quite looking forward to seeing how they do. There's been a lot of great talent this year, so it should be quite the showdown when once we get to Las Vegas.