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December 12 (1)


Hundreds of determined athletes have come to Los Angeles for their chance at total victory atop Mt. Midoriyama.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Hosts Blair Herter & Alison Haislip
Creator Monster9 (based upon "SASUKE/Ninja Warrior")
EP Craig Piligian
Andrea Richter
Packager Pilgrim Films & TV for G4 Media
Origins Los Angeles
Airs 6p Sat, G4
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Stage 1 Heat 2

Last time, eight athletes came to G4's American Ninja course and earned the right to sit atop the leaderboard... for now. But there are still three more heats of qualifying, and only the top 30 finishers will move on to Stage 2: the Expanded Course.

First up in day 2 of qualifying is Kevin Zeeff. He looks more like a reject from a Batman movie. He fights like a ninja... until he gets to the Pipe Slider. Lisanna Haskins, a gymnastics coach, wants to be the first woman to finish the course. She's gone farther than any female thus far. Slowly but surely, she makes it past the Jumping Spider Wall. Same cannot be said for the Pipe Slider. Ryan Stratis is next, and he has two keys to victory... swing low, and pipe-slide at a 90-degree angle. He executes that strategy... and no problems whatsoever, but can he make it up the Warped Wall? Remember, he only gets five attempts. And he's up at three! FINISH! Ryan Stratis is your new leader at 1:13.2. Total Stratis-faction.

Brian Kretsch hopes to add his name to the leaderboard alongside his friend Ryan. At 6'4", he's got a huge height advantage. He uses the overhand grip on the Pipe Slider, something that the SASUKE All-Stars have perfected. They don't have the height, though. Brian does, and clocks in at a minute flat.

So far, over 100 athletes have faced the course, and only 14 have made it past all six obstacles. The others... they took a nice little bath. Next player, Matt Asanuma, a half-Japanese person who says that the ninja runs through his veins. Wouldn't that be half his veins, though? So far, he's proving himself worthy... and he BLAZES through the course in a time of 59 seconds. That's the new mark to beat.

Chris Christensen next. Chris Christensen almost slips on the Spider Wall... and then... slips for real. Rick Huelga is next to take the course... He's a little older than most of the competitors, but he feels up to the task. He crushes the Pipe Slider, which is important, because he needs to have a good time to move on. FINISH!

Shane Daniels is a free-runner, which will serve him well on the course. He's blazing through the course. He finally arrives at the Warped Wall... And FINISHED! Nine more will follow them, leaving only four free slots.

Geoff Iida is next, an assistant prosecutor who wants the course to feel the power.... of ATTORNEY! At 32 seconds, he reaches the Warped Wall... and he gets up for a time of 46.3 seconds.

Ruselis Perry, AKA Blackie Chan, takes on the course next... He dances to the Warped Wall... and he makes it over at a time of :47.9.

Sean Morris is next. He came from Sarasota with the help of his radio station, so if he doesn't make it past the first stage, they're going to destroy him. He in turn destroys the course in a time of :45.3.

Gabe Nunez is a stuntman with a black belt in tae kwon do. He's got a hard time finding momentum, but he passes the Pipe Slider... and buzzes in at :45.6. The leaderboard is now full, which means from here on out, for every winner, there's going to be a loser. Time is now a factor; no longer is it a factor of getting to the finish, it's now getting to the finish quickly.

Next on the course, a familiar face... former Ninja Warrior contestant Brian Orosco. He made it to the Second Stage before being bested by the Salmon Ladder. Will he make it back to Midoriyama this year? He knows his way around this course, having competed before. He's on pace to make the score... hits the Warped Wall on his first attempt to top the board. That means that there'll be no Mayhem on Midoriyama, as Jason Miller drops out.

LEADERBOARD after Heat 2:
1) Brian Orosco - :44.1
2) Sean Morris - :45.3
3) Gabe Nunez - :45.6
4) Geoff Iida - :46.3
5) Ruselis "Blackie Chan" Perry - :47.9
6) Shane Daniels - :51.5
7) Rick Huelga - :58.1
8) Matt Asanuma - :59.1
9) Brian Kretsch - 1:00.0
10) T. Hackenbruck - 1:01.1
11) David St. Pierre - 1:01.9
12) Ryan Quiller 1:06.8
13) Ryan Stratis - 1:13.2
14) Todd White - 1:15.8
15) Victor Winters - 1:18.4
16) Steve Volcko - 1:20.1
17) Michael Owandi - 1:21.2
18) Xin "Urban Ninja" Wuku - 1:24.7
19) Adam Truesdell - 1:25.9
20) Victor Rivera - 1:29.0
21) Califf Guzman - 1:29.1
22) Matthew Mark - 1:34.7
23) Aaron Leddick - 1:35.0
24) Jon Barnes - 1:35.1
25) R. Brier-Bachall - 1:35.8
26) Ivan Kim - 1:36.1
27) Frank Agzarian - 1:42.6
28) C. DeMarco - 1:50.2
29) S. Machado - 1:51.4
30) Daniel "Bones" Devane - 1:52.0

But as the most elite of competitors await the course in heat 3, the players at the bottom have more to worry about than just the Midoriyama mud. As the competition continues next time, stay tuned for.... MORE world-class athletes... MORE outrageous falls... and MORE... "American Ninja Warrior!"


For more information on the contestants, including never-before-seen footage, go to