'American Ninja Warrior' competitor Meagan Martin breaks her own record in Indianapolis
It's Meagan Martin's world and we're all just living in it.
The 26-year-old professional rock climber was the only woman among 25 finishers in the Indianapolis region, which aired on "American Ninja Warrior" last night. This is Martin's third consecutive trip up the Warped Wall on a qualifying course, a first for a woman. Her consistent level of performance has made her one of the elite ninja warrior competitors -- no gender qualification required.
But as we all know, being one of the best comes with a bit of pressure, especially when one wrong step can end a dream run. Martin says her nerves are more present at the start and, of course, on the obstacles where her legendary grip strength isn't utilized. "I was worried about the balance obstacle," Martin said after the show via text message. "Once I got through that, I knew I was going to complete it, which gave me a boost of excitement."
It almost didn't happen for her though. (ANW reminder: competitors get three attempts up the Warped Wall on regional courses). On her first try, Martin's footing slipped and she didn't get a good grip on the top of the wall. But it didn't phase her. "I knew I had two more chances," Martin said. "I noticed it was a little wet on the left side, so on my second attempt, I tried to stay on the right. Luckily, it worked out perfectly!"
If Martin performs well in the Indianapolis finals and avenges her early exit from competition last year, she's going to be a real threat to complete Stage 1. Over the last three years, she's proven that she, just as much as any woman, is a force to be reckoned with.
Indianapolis regional specs:
Women finishers: 1
Women moving on: 1
New or modified obstacles: 4 out of 6
Barring some kind of massive surprise, the Floating Steps are here to stay and will lead each city course. Competitors must jump up five separated steps before swinging on a rope to the next platform.
Next was an old obstacle: the Rolling Log. Ninjas wrap themselves around a giant log, which spins down a ramp over the water. (If that doesn't make you dizzy, I don't know what will).
Historically in every city, the third obstacle tests competitors' balance, but Indianapolis threw us for a loop. The third obstacle last night was a new one, the Fly Wheels. Competitors swing and jump, also known as a lache, between suspended wheels to to get to the next platform.
Next up was the balance obstacle: the Rolling Disks. Ninjas have to maneuver across two tilted circles that rotate under their feet.
The Swinging Spikes is another upper body and grip strength combo. Ninjas traverse the obstacle by gripping vertically hanging bars and must choose between two paths halfway through.
The Indianapolis course ends with the taller version of the infamous Warped Wall, standing at 14 feet, 6 inches.
Though only Martin is moving on, there were some awesome women who may receive a wild card invitation to compete in Vegas. Kirsti Pratt, nicknamed "The Machine," is a training powerhouse who hasn't yet been able to translate her incredible strength to a successful run. She went out on the Swinging Spikes, but she is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Similarly, Michaela Kiersch, another professional climber, made quite an impression. She got to the Rolling Disks before falling, but she could do some major damage in Vegas if she gets a shot.
Next week, we head to Oklahoma City for the much-anticipated return of Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman ever up the Warped Wall and the only one to complete a city finals course. Dubbed #MightyKacy, she looks to make a come back after a disappointing showing on ANW Season 7.