American Ninja Warrior descended upon the Tacoma Dome for the Seattle/Tacoma qualifying competition that aired Monday night, the fourth qualifying round in the show's 11th season.
The Lunatic Ledges and Barrel Roll were the featured obstacles.
Sandy Zimmerman, a 42-year-old mother of three, stole the show. Not only was she the first contestant of the night to finish, but she also became the first mom in show history, the oldest woman in show history and the first woman this season to hit the buzzer. Zimmerman had previously competed but hadn't made it beyond the second obstacle.
"I will tell you, right here in Tacoma is [where] when I was a little kid, I learned that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, that you should dream big dreams," Zimmerman said on the broadcast after her triumph. "So to come back to the Tacoma Dome and dream another big dream of being the first mom to hit a buzzer, I can't even begin to explain this."
It wasn't a night to remember for Geoff Britten, making his return after missing Season 10. Britten is famously the only Ninja competitor ever to hit six buzzers in the same season, and that "perfect season" came in Season 7. Monday night, the 39-year-old returned with high expectations but shockingly succumbed to the Broken Bridge.
Meagan Martin was almost relegated to the same fate, failing to finish the course, but she still managed to advance to her sixth straight city finals.
Brothers Nathan and Marquez Green competed in honor of their late mother. Nathan unfortunately fell during the Lunatic Ledges, smashing his face and falling into the water. However, Marquez learned from his brother's mistake and hit the buzzer.
Their feel-good story was followed by the long-awaited return of Jessie Graff. The 35-year-old missed the nationals last year because she was away working as a stuntwoman on Wonder Woman 2. Back on the Ninja course Monday night, she didn't miss a beat.
Entering Monday night, only seven competitors had ascended the Megawall this season. "Cowboy Ninja" Lance Pekus became the eighth—wearing jeans, no less. Pekus conquered the Megawall on his third and final attempt to win $2,500 and advance to the city finals.
The night's festivities ended with Sean Bryan and Leif Sundberg, the two fastest finishers, facing off on the Power Tower. Sundberg—the "Swedish Ninja"—completed the course in a blazing 58.75 seconds, while Bryan finished in one minute and 14.37 seconds.
At the Power Tower, though, Bryan came out on top and earned a fast pass to the national finals for the fourth year in a row.
American Ninja Warrior returns next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.