Wildcard Week 2
S2 episode 14 Aired on June 13, 2017

By Nikki Lee

Welcome to the second round of the Wildcard battle! Last week, Jamie Rahn and his Superhero Squad secured the first slot in the Wildcard relay race. Whichever team won tonight would have to face that team in an additional relay race to see who would get the spot in the Team Ninja Warrior finals.

TL: DR: The NorCal Ninjas brought their steady consistency back to the course, taking out the incredibly strong Lab Rats. It was the end of the road for them, as well as the Towers of Power and Karsten’s Fast Kats.

The match ups:

• Lab Rats vs Karsten’s Fast Kats

• NorCal Ninjas vs Towers of Power

Per usual, a refresher on the rules is at the bottom of this article.

The obstacles:

• Sonic Swing

• Ring of Fire

• Swing Jump

• Floating Tiles

• Swinging Spikes

• Warped Wall

The Teams:

• Lab Rats

• Chris Wilczewski

• Brian Wilczewski

• Michelle Warnky

• Arnold Hernandez (Alternate for Chris)

Karsten’s Fast Kats

• Karsten Williams

• Kevin Klein

• Joy Strickland

Fast Kats’ Kevin vs Lab Rats’ Arnold Kevin held a considerable lead all the way down the course. Arnold managed to get on the Swinging Spikes while Kevin was still on the obstacle, but it didn’t last long. Kevin went for a huge dismount and took the first point.

Point= Karsten’s Fast Kats

Heat Two:

• Fast Kats’ Joy vs Lab Rats’ Michelle

Joy got off the Ring of Fire first, but Michelle caught up quickly. In a rush, Joy ended up falling from the Floating Tiles. Michelle almost fell but saved her run and snagged a point for her team.

Point= Lab Rats

Heat Three:

• Fast Kats’ Karsten vs Lab Rats’ Brian

Surprisingly, both these accomplished Ninjas struggled a bit on the Ring of Fire. But it was Karsten who got the lead. The rest of the course gave him no trouble at all.

Points= Karsten’s Fast Kats

Winner of Round One: Karsten’s Fast Kats

The Teams:

NorCal Ninjas

  • David Campbell

  • Brian Kretsch

  • Anna Shumaker

Towers of Power
  • Brandon Mears

  • Dan Polizzi

  • Selena Laniel

Heat One:

  • Towers of Power’s Brandon vs NorCal Ninjas’ Brian

Brian had a little trouble with the Sonic Swing and that didn’t set him up for success. Brandon took the opportunity and ran with it. Literally. He sprinted all the way to the buzzer.

Point= Towers of Power

Heat Two:

  • Towers of Power’s Selena vs NorCal Ninjas’ Anna

Both were stuck on the Ring of Fire, but Anna dismounted first. She held a strong lead, but Selena did manage to catch up at the Swinging Spikes. However, Selena’s grip gave out and she fell there. Anna made it all the way to the top of the Wall.

Point= NorCal Ninjas

Heat Three:

  • Towers of Power’s Dan vs NorCal Ninjas’ David

This was a close one! David had a slight lead, but Dan didn’t want him to get comfortable with it. David leapt from the Swinging Spikes first to launch himself to the buzzer.

Points= NorCal Ninjas

Winner of Round Two: NorCal Ninjas

Knockout One:

Karsten’s Fast Kats and the Towers of Power were in for a fight. Neither team wanted to lose their shot at the finals.

Heat One:

  • Towers of Power’s Dan vs Fast Kats’ Kevin

Kevin took a hard hit coming off the Ring of Fire and then got a little wet on the Swing Jump. Dan made it to the Swinging Spikes first. Kevin tried to make up time with a huge leap on to the Spikes. Sadly, it cost him the entire run.

Point = Towers of Power

Heat Two:

  • Towers of Power’s Selena vs Fast Kats’ Joy

Joy was far ahead of Selena when she got on the Spikes. In a surprising decision, Selena stopped before the obstacle. She waited to see if Joy would complete it before moving on. When Joy fell, it meant Selena could tackle the Spikes without the added pressure of a competitor right next to her. However, Selena couldn’t complete the obstacle either, and the point went to Joy.

Point= Karsten’s Fast Kats

Heat Three:

  • Towers of Power’s Brandon vs Fast Kat’s Karsten

Karsten set this run on fire. He raced to the buzzer in just 33 seconds!

Points= Karsten’s Fast Kats

Towers of Power are OUT.

Knockout Two:

When we returned to the Lab Rats and the NorCal Ninjas, there was a change in the line up. Brian of NorCal Ninjas was injured. They called in their alternate, Sean Bryan.

Heat One:

  • Lab Rats’ Arnold vs NorCal Ninjas’ Sean

This was the battle of the alternates! Sean gained a strong early lead. Arnold tried to tie it up on the Spikes, but couldn’t close the gap. Sean had a close call dismounting but saved it and saved the run.

Point= NorCal Ninjas

Heat Two:

  • Lab Rats’ Michelle vs NorCal Ninjas’ Anna

It was a close race until Anna started lagging about halfway down the course. That distance allowed Michelle to finish the Spikes and get up the Warped Wall.

Point= Lab Rats

David had a smooth ride through the Ring of Fire while Brian was stuck. David blazed down the course while Brian was still hanging there, although he made a solid attempt to catch up. They had a brief fight for territory on the Swinging Spikes, but it was David who would prevail.

Points= NorCal Ninjas

Lab Rats are OUT.

Relay Race:

In the relay, all three team members will be on the course at the same time. Each will complete three obstacles, meaning the course is extended. It’s up to each team to decide which member runs when. The NorCal Ninjas and Karsten’s Fast Kats would race for the chance to fight the Superhero Squad in the Wildcard relay. Anna and Joy took the first three obstacles. They would then tag in Sean and Karsten. David and Kevin handled the extended course, including the rope climb.

  • Dueling Salmon Ladders

  • Globe Graspers

  • 40 foot Rope Climb (Usually the Invisible Ladder)

When Joy fell from the Ring of Fire, the Fast Kats had a ten second delay before Karsten could run. But with his speed, they certainly weren’t out of the game. Sean tagged in David and shortly after, Kevin was in the running. David was slightly ahead, working on the Globe Graspers when Kevin was on the Salmon Ladder. But Kevin made an error that caused him to fall, ending the relay.

Karsten’s Fast Kats are OUT!

Winner of relay race: NorCal Ninjas

Final relay for Wildcard slot:

This was it! The NorCal Ninjas would face Jamie Rahn’s Superhero Squad to try to snag the last spot in the Team Ninja Warrior finals.

The NorCal Ninjas had Anna start the course. Superhero Squad sent in Rachael. Sean Bryan and Sean Darling-Hammond would handle the middle obstacles.

After the Warped Wall, they would tag in David and Jamie. Anna had the lead again after the Ring of Fire, allowing her to tag in Sean B. first. He made short work of his obstacles and brought in David.

The Superheroes were not far behind. Sean D. brought in Jamie, who took off running. David had the lead on the extended course. This meant he started the final climb before Jamie. If he gassed out at all, Jamie would catch him.

But that wasn’t the case. David stayed strong and brought home the win for the NorCal Ninjas!

Superhero Squad is OUT and the NorCal Ninjas will advance to the finals! Next week, we’ll see the first four finalist teams get one step closer to the Team Ninja Warrior trophy!

READ MORE!
Here are the obstacles and rules for Team Ninja Warrior