Archive for the ‘Northeast Region’ Category

National Finalists in American Ninja Warrior 4

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Here is a list of the 90 national finalists in American Ninja Warrior 4 who advanced to Las Vegas to compete on the Mt. Midoriyama replica uber-course that was built there. There will be 10 wildcards added to these 90 competitors to make an even 100 runners, which is the traditional number that competed in the original Ninja Warrior Japan (Sasuke) for many years. The identity of these wildcards will be revealed when the show airs.

15 finalists from each of the 6 regions (listed below in order of finish) fought their way through their respective regional rounds and then the regional finals to advance to the first finals of American Ninja Warrior held in the US. Mad props to all these competitors, and hit LIKE to applaud them and share this list to spread the word of their awesomeness!

Southwest
Evan Dollard
Jesse La Flair
Kole Stevens
Remi Bakkar
Brent Steffenson
Chad Simpson
Derek Nakamoto
Dorian Cedars
Dan Mast
Paul Darnell
Sedderick Bassett
Ryan Thompson
Dylan Curry
Ronnie Shalvis Jr
Michael “Frosti” Zernow

Midwest
Matthew Derouen
Andrew Karsen
Jack Morgan
Stephen Volcko
Arthur Skov
Michael Silenzi
Nick ‘Lovin’ Stephforn
Johnathan Morin
Scott Robinson
Will Dodd
Joshua Grant
Andrew Lowes
Nate Aye
Nick Kostner
Cade Halada

Northeast
Tim Shieff
Luis Moco
Dan Galiczynski
Chris Wilczewski
Elet Hall
Travis Graves
Jesse Villareal
Christopher DiGangi
Andrew Wood
Danny Johnson
Bradley Smith Jr.
Phillip Pirollo
John Sapinoso
Matt Mings
Michael Pericoloso

Northwest
James McGrath
Travis Furlanic
David Campbell
Sean Noble
Kyle Cochrane
Justin Sweeney
Josh Horsley
Nathan Sausedo
Justin Walcker
J.B. Douglas
Kevan Reoli
Ben Snead
Brian Kretsch
Gunner Bahn
Patrick McGrath

Midsouth
Paul Kasemir
Brandon Douglass
Brian Arnold
Jaret Salas
Kevin Klein
Sat Khalsa
Ahmed Toure
Josh Lobeck
Lorin Ball
Jake Smith
Bob Pondrom
Nathaniel Spencer
James Wyatt
Tremayne Dortch
Alan Connealy

Southeast
David “Flip” Rodriguez
Drew Dreschel
Travis Rosen
Jared “J.J.” Woods
Michael Ekhert
Bull Bullard
Sean Morris
William Brown
Thomas Hall
Brendan Kelly
Andy Taylor
Adam Grossman
Niko Bogucki
Tony Reddick
Paul O’Connor

Northeast Region on Deck

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Better late than never…too much work this past week to be dutiful getting this out! The Northeast region is on deck tonight of G4 for the opening round and then on NBC for Monday night for the regional finals. There are a lot of studs in the Northeast region, and I’m really looking forward to watching them throw down tonight and tomorrow night on the tube.

The Northeast region took place in Miami, and below is a non-comprehensive list of some of the cast of characters you’re likely to see. Forgive me for overlooking some folks…I don’t always know what region competitors are running in, and of course I don’t know everybody, but these are some of the competitors that I have on my radar screen for Northeast:

Tim “Livewire” Shieff – Worldwide parkour champ from 2009, professional free-runner/stuntmen, the guy is a living legend in the parkour/free-running community around the planet. Capable of winning the whole thing.
Chris Wilczewski – See my blog below about Chris and his interview video. The guy is a stud.
Mike Bernardo – DC firefighter and paramedic. I’ve known Mike since we were getting ready to compete both of us for the first time in ANW2. He’s a very strong well-conditioned athlete, and could be a real darkhorse in the region.
Travis Noble Graves – From the legendary Tribe\APK team.
The Amazing Oti – Everybody on the G4 and Sasuke Maniac Forum boards know Oti, and his legendary focus and preparation. The dude is an animal, and a good ninja brother who has encouraged me since I was just dreaming about competing for the first time.
Luis Moco – Stuntman from NYC/Boston, good dude and very strong.

And many others…(forgive the jumbled list, rushed to get this out before a long flight): Jamie Rahn aka Captain G4/NBC, Mike Needham, Phil Pirollo (owner of Pinnacle Parkour), Danny Johnson from PA, Travis Weinand from The Warrior Lab, Noel Reyes from NYC/FDNY, Dan Galiczynski aka Gravity Forged (sick gymnast from PA), Elet Hansel Hall parkour stud from MD, Michael Pericloso a dancer from NYC, Ron Dukes personal trainer from Philly, and Gabe Arnold also from Pinnacle. All super-strong competitors capable of going deep in American Ninja Warrior 4.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

American Ninja Warrior Profile – Chris Wilczewski

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

One of my favorite American Ninja Warrior competitors, both for his mad skills and the joy with which he pursues the dream, is Chris Wilczewski.  At the tender age of 22 Chris is already a seasoned veteran of the competitor having made the Boot Camp in American Ninja Warrior 3 and having established a sick parkour and ninja warrior training gym in New Jersey called The Warrior Lab.  Chris is a competitor in the Northeast region this season of American Ninja Warrior 4, and I have a feeling is going to generate a lot of buzz with his performance, charisma, and monster skills on the course.

Despite our nearly two decades difference in age, Chris and I have become good buddies and I’m proud to have his friendship and support, as he has mine.  I asked him to take some time and answer some questions for me about his experience training for and competing in American Ninja Warrior, which he graciously did, so check out his video below and root hard for him as he puts it all on the line in the Northeast region and hopefully beyond!

The Ninja Warrior World Re-Aligns

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

We’re all geeks for Ninja Warrior, right? If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be here right now, reading some random blog from some random guy about his delusional middle-aged aspirations to become the first American Ninja Warrior. Well, for those of us who love Ninja Warrior, the earth has shook and the planetary rotation of the Ninja Warrior orb has been turned on its axis as the entire structure and premise of American Ninja Warrior has changed in the last few weeks. Most of us came to love Ninja Warrior by watching re-runs of Sasuke (incorrectly translated as “Ninja Warrior”) on G4 of the epic competitions in Japan to find the world’s best obstacle course runner. And, yes, it was to find the world’s best obstacle course runner, because although most of the competitors have been Japanese, the producers of the show have always tried to bring in the world’s best foreigners to compete, extending invitations to Olympic athletes in various disciplines to come and try their hands at the increasingly difficult course. They too, like many others, ran and failed at some point in the 4 stage course we learned to love named Mount Midoriyama. In recent years competitions like Sasuke Malaysia and American Ninja Warrior have sprouted up around the globe to become their own events to select the top competitors to get their shot running Sasuke on the hallowed grounds in Japan. For all Ninja Warrior aspirants around the world it was all about getting a shot somehow to run that course in Japan.

Now all that has changed (at least for we Americans). With the uncertainty of future competitions in Japan, and the relative success of American Ninja Warrior the last couple of years here in America, the NBC/Comcast entertainment conglomerate has secured the rights to produce American Ninja Warrior as a standalone network program here in the U.S. No longer is American Ninja Warrior a feeder competition for Ninja Warrior Japan, but it is (for the time-being at least) its own bad self standing on its own bad own. Meaning that instead of having 10 Americans going to compete in Japan at Sasuke against the legendary Japanese group of competitors, there will be 100 Americans that will arise out of 6 regional competitions to compete in a new mega-course they are building in Las Vegas. That’s right, Vegas baby. The owners/producers of Ninja Warrior Japan are consulting on the building of the course, which is good news for American Ninja Warrior competitors who have pointed out that in recent U.S.-based competitions the quality of some of the obstacles was lacking. Whether it will be an exact replica of Mt. Midoriyama is unclear, but I believe most expectations are that it will be very similar, and will certainly be composed of many of the iconic obstacles we all love and fear like the Salmon Ladder, the Warped Wall, and the Ultimate Cliffhanger.

So 6 regional competitions going down in 3 cities (LA, Dallas, Miami), each with reportedly 125 runners, will happen throughout March to pick the top 100 guys to compete in Las Vegas on this new course reportedly on April 21-22. I believe that there will be some coverage of these regional competitions on G4 before they (for certain) show the 100 person final in Las Vegas over several weeks on NBC this summer. This is supposedly NBC’s competitor for ABC’s very popular Wipeout (although the surest way to see an American Ninja Warrior competitor go apoplectic is to ask them if their competition is similar to Wipeout).

This is a major shift in the structure and identity of American Ninja Warrior. It now stands alone, and is no longer the cable network feeder program for Ninja Warrior Japan, but its own bad self (did I say that already?). Competitors and fans have mixed emotions about this, with much loyalty and love being reserved for the original Japanese competition. While I myself am saddened at what is an increasing likelihood that Ninja Warrior Japan will “go away” at some point, I’m glad that there is a strengthened competition here in America that could keep the spirit alive even as the Mother Ship goes into retirement.

Below are the locations of the regional competitions, the submission dates for the videos, and the estimated competition dates for those locations (they will confirm and narrow these dates soon).

LOS ANGELES (Northwest and Southwest Regions) – Video Submission by Feb. 14th, Competition Window is March 1-5

DALLAS (Midwest and South-Central Regions) – Video Submission by Feb. 27th, Competition Window is March 14-18

MIAMI (Northeast and Southeast Regions) – Video Submission by March 8th, Competition Window is March 27 – April 1