With apologies to Russell Westbrook, the toughest thing in Oklahoma City on Monday night was the Coconut Climb.
The new obstacle in the 11th season of NBC's American Ninja Warrior ended the dreams of plenty of competitors in Monday's episode, which was the third qualifying competition after Los Angeles and Atlanta.
However, it was no problem for American Ninja Warrior legend Daniel Gil, who set the fastest qualifier and final times in each of the last two years and, true to form, destroyed the course in Oklahoma City. He ran up the Megawall and won the Power Tower just for good measure, giving himself an additional $10,000 and spot in the national finals.
The Megawall, Coconut Climb and Power Tower were the featured obstacles during Monday's show. Ninjas did not have to attempt the Megawall at the end of their runs, but those who completed it won $10,000. Gil did just that, while Karsten Williams won $5,000 for completing it on his second try.
It was still a costly decision for Williams, though, because it took him out of the running for the Power Tower competition.
The fastest two finishers went head-to-head at the conclusion of the episode in the Power Tower for an automatic spot in the national finals. It figured to be Gil and Mathis "The Kid" Owhadi after the latter impressed as a rookie sensation last year, but his failure to complete the Megawall left him short of Matthew Day's time.
While Day earned a moral victory just for advancing that far, there was never a doubt who would take home the berth to the national finals. Gil blew through the Power Tower and further cemented his legacy on the show.
Gil and Day were the stars of the episode, but David Wright, Jeff Harris, Ben Wales and Nick Fordney, among others, also stood out by completing the obstacle course.
Wright, who is a 19-year-old lifeguard known as Cake Ninja, was the first on the Oklahoma City episode to not only make it through the Coconut Climb but also reach the buzzer as a finisher. With the crowd chanting "we want cake," Wright used the curved bar to climb up, across and down the mock coconut trees to set the tone for the rest of the show.
However, his time didn't hold up for long thanks to Day. He had no trouble with the Coconut Climb or any other obstacle, setting the pace for others to beat until Gil closed the show.
While those competitors made it past the Coconut Climb, the same cannot be said about many others.
The trouble started with the first contestant, as Karen Wiltin made it through the initial obstacles of the Shrinking Steps, Wing Swing and Diving Boards in impressive fashion but fell while attempting the Coconut Climb.
American Ninja Warrior veterans Maggi Thorne and Barclay Stockett also fell on the fifth obstacle but after they turned heads by holding on at the Diving Boards and steamrolling through the Wing Swing.
There was no shame in losing at the Coconut Climb considering even Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton couldn't make it past the obstacle.
Former Wisconsin pole-vaulter Taylor Amann couldn't either, but she at least earned significant bragging rights over boyfriend and former Ohio State football player Clay Raterman. The Big Ten athletes competed against each other and provided support after meeting at the collegiate American Ninja Warrior competition, but Raterman couldn't make it past the Wing Swing.
Amann did, advancing all the way to the daunting Coconut Climb and earning a win for the Badgers.
Yet, it was Gil who notched the biggest win of the evening with the speed pass for a guaranteed spot in the national finals.