The Premier Series kicked off with a bang.
On July 29 and 30, the World Ninja League debuted its Premier Series. The new format only invited the top 25% of athletes from Season VIII in every division, all battling against each other. In the end, the top four athletes qualified in each division for the Premier Series Finals, where we’ll find the best of the best.
The first of eight Premier Series qualifiers was held at Ferox Athletics. The competition was meant to be for only the top athletes, and the results delivered on that. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights of the Ferox Qualifier.
The Premier Series format involved two different courses: the Placement and Challenge Courses. With such a competitive field, it was a surprise to see how many athletes took first place on both courses.
Tanner McKenna started the weekend off by claiming first place in the Kids Male Division, becoming one of two finishers on the Placement Course and making it to the final obstacle, Area 53, fastest on the Challenge Course. Shortly after, Lily Barrett swept the Preteen Female Division, hitting the buzzer on both courses faster than anyone. Her twin sister, Charlotte Barrett, also claimed second place in both courses.
Tanner McKenna secures the fastest time on the Placement Course with a commanding buzzer.
Zachary Burkholder then claimed two buzzers and swept the Teen Division, followed by Madelyn Madaras in the Elite Female Division and Jay Lewis in the Elite Male Division. Lewis was the only sub-minute run on the Challenge course for the entire weekend.
Madelyn Madaras becomes the only clear on the Elite Female Challenge Course.
The Reigning Champs Rose To The Occasion
Many of our Season VIII World Champions arrived at Ferox for the Premier Series and delivered. Our Mature Kids Female Champion, Meghan Moore, also had a sweep and proved she came for the second title. Kids Male Champion Jeremy Casella clinched second on the Placement Course and proceeded to squeak into the Finals with a fourth place finish, securing his spot by eight seconds.
Meghan Moore swings through Area 53 for a Challenge Course buzzer.
Preteen Male Champion Charlie Ball had a shockingly early fall on the Placement Course, forcing Ball to run second on the Challenge Course. Despite the lack of beta, Ball sailed through the course and was one of six finishers, clearing in the fastest time. Ball’s comeback demonstrated the poise and talents that earned him the World Championship.
Charlie Ball defeats Log Run before sailing through the Challenge Course.
The Nail Biters
The Premier Series was down to the wire in almost every division, and the leaderboards reflected that.
In Mature Kids Female, fourth placer Harper Bergin beat out fifth place Kate Ruiz to the final obstacle by a second and a half.
The Preteen Male Division became even more intense in the hot seat. Cameron Godbout (4th), Luke Frattaroli (5th) and Wyatt Herman (6th) all cleared the Challenge Course within a second of each other. Most notably, Mackenzie Peterson beat out Ryan Guild for the final spot in the Amateur Male Finals by 0.12 seconds!
The Premier Series turned out to be a weekend of close calls, redemption runs, amazing courses and elite competition. We’ll see the series continue its run on August 5 and 6 at Motive School of Movement in Greeneville, South Carolina. The Premier Series Finals will be held back at Ferox Athletics on November 17-19.
Congratulations to all of our athletes qualifying for Finals!