Kacey Catanzaro, the 24-year-old New Jersey native, could make history Monday night on NBC as she competes as the first woman in the finals for Esquire’s “American Ninja Warrior” — a competitive obstacle course-themed TV show that searches for the “ultimate athlete.”
Not only is the former gymnast the first female to qualify after crushing records at the qualifier and finals, she was the first to even make it past the Warped Wall — one of its toughest obstacles, which stands 16 feet tall.
Catanzaro is five feet tall and 100 pounds.
Her stunning run in the sixth season — 8 minutes 59 seconds and 53 hundredths of a second — got 8.7 million YouTube views, and had Twitter trending with the hashtag “#MightyKacy.”
It’s clear why.
The series, based on the Japanese bi-annual race “Sasuke,” has followed competitors around the country in qualifying regional rounds, and now the top 90 will compete in the national finals in Las Vegas and take on a four-stage course for the title and $500,000. The course is modeled after Japan’s Mt. Midoriyama.
No American has ever completed the challenging course.
See Catanzaro’s jaw-dropping win at the 2014 Dallas regional finals.
Monday’s episode will show only Stage 1 of the course, will the following stages airing Sept. 8.