American Ninja Warrior 2015 Results: Recap from August 3 Episode

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2015

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **Visitors head toward the entrance of the Universal Studios Florida theme park in Orlando, Fla., April 22, 2006.  Despite the hurricanes during the last two years, both were record years for the area's tourism and hospitality industries.  Industry experts expect a good year for this year as well.  (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
PHELAN M. EBENHACK/Associated Press

American Ninja Warrior took a trip to Universal Studios for the Orlando finals during Monday’s episode, and 15 competitors earned a spot in Las Vegas for the national finals.

Here is a look at those who qualified and kept their dreams alive:

Orlando City Finals—Top 15 Finishers
Pos.NameTimeLast Obstacle
1James McGrath5:30.58Completed
2Adam Arnold6:42.07Completed
3Flip Rodriguez5:12.24Invisible Ladder
4Drew Drechsel5:25.18Invisible Ladder
5Neil Craver5:33.33Invisible Ladder
6Travis Rosen3:06.12Double Helix
7Gordon White5:35.18Double Helix
8J.J. Woods3:31.12Cannonball Alley
9Sean Clayton4:12.90Cannonball Alley
10James Bogle Jr.4:19.01Cannonball Alley
11Hunter Sipes4:29.87Cannonball Alley
12Eddy Stewart4:50.62Cannonball Alley
13Rich Shoemaker4:59.36Cannonball Alley
14Jo Jo Bynum5:10.85Cannonball Alley
15Alexio Gomes5:15.98Cannonball Alley
NBC Broadcast

In a field of warriors, it was a Cinderella story that made headlines Monday. 

Adam Arnold was the first competitor to complete the Orlando finals course, but it was the path he took there that was most noteworthy. He waited in the walk-on line for the Kansas City qualifiers but was passed over, so he drove more than 1,000 miles to wait in the walk-on line at the Orlando qualifiers. From there, he was chosen, made it to the city finals and then brought the crowd to its feet Monday.

The show passed along the triumphant moment:

While Arnold was certainly impressive, James McGrath turned in the most impressive performance in Orlando. He tore through the course, became the only other finisher besides Arnold and posted the best time along the way. 

The show highlighted the incredible outing:

As is the case with any American Ninja Warrior course, there were a number of grueling obstacles for Arnold, McGrath and the rest of the field to overcome, including Cannonball Alley (where ninjas must essentially swing from cannonball to cannonball like monkey bars) and Salmon Ladder (where competitors must propel themselves upward with their arms after grabbing a bar).

That Salmon Ladder wasted little time stopping a fan favorite in the early going. Matt Jordan is a butcher from a small town in South Carolina and was appropriately nicknamed "The Butcher." However,  American Ninja Warrior pointed out he couldn't handle the Salmon: 

While the Salmon Ladder posed a problem for Jordan, Cannonball Alley was the most potent obstacle throughout much of the competition. This came as no surprise to fans of American Ninja Warrior, since 14 athletes failed on the cannonballs in last year's Venice city finals. 

Not even doctor and rock climber Rich Shoemaker could handle them Monday, as the show noted:

Someone finally conquered the elusive cannonballs when Travis Rosen steamrolled his way through the obstacle. Although he didn't successfully complete the course, just making it past the thorn in everyone else's side was more than enough for Rosen to advance to Las Vegas. 

The show highlighted the pivotal moment, while host Matt Iseman noted that Rosen was a worthy fan favorite:

Drew Drechsel then surpassed Rosen's performance and nearly became the first to complete the course before eventually bowing out at the Invisible Ladder, as the show highlighted:

However, Arnold outdid the efforts of Drechsel, Rosen and the rest of the early competition by moving from the walk-on line to Las Vegas as the first to complete Monday's course. Neil Craver almost joined Arnold as a finisher but ultimately ran out of steam in the final feet of the Invisible Ladder.

Craver still did more than enough to earn a spot in Las Vegas and likely used his experience on the show last year to his advantage given his comments, per Tim Clodfelter of the Winston-Salem Journal: "I learned a lot from the first experience of ‘Ninja Warrior.' You need to really be on as many obstacles as you can to really understand your body and the movements that you may or may not have to do."

David Rodriguez then followed Craver's example and just missed finishing at the Invisible Ladder. The show shared his final effort:

The Orlando finals saved the best for last when McGrath closed out Monday's competition in dramatic style. 

The mere fact that he overcame such a physically grueling course that included Cannonball Alley, Salmon Ladder and the Invisible Ladder in dominant fashion should provide McGrath plenty of confidence heading to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

There will likely be plenty of difficult obstacles waiting, but McGrath looked like a serious threat to win the grand prize when American Ninja Warrior moves to the national finals. 

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