This was an incredibly hard list to narrow down.
The 2023 World Ninja League Championships were, for lack of a better word, historic. With so many highs, new vendors and activities and incredible moments, it’s time to put the spotlight on the top ten moments from the competition. This will be across all divisions, as we love to share how exciting our sport can be at all ages!
10. Meghan Moore Dominates Stage 3
In the Mature Kids Female Division, a strong showing of athletes emerged. In total, there were four finishers. However, one individual, Meghan Moore, stood out clearly above the rest. Moore finished the course in a time of 2:42.91, a whole minute and twenty seconds faster than the division’s runner-up. This incredible run landed her a top spot on Stage 3…and the title of World Champion.
9. Brian Rambo Goes Deep Into Stage 2
Moving from our Mature Kids to our Masters Division, Brian Rambo showed his talents on Stage 2 by making it to the penultimate obstacle, Four Square. While he didn’t get the buzzer, Rambo’s run was a fight till the end and was enough to put him in first place. That same run is what crowned him the World Champion of Masters Male Division, showing what the top athletes are capable of. No Masters Athlete has cleared Stage 2 before, but Rambo and others are pushing the limits to get there soon.
8. Abby Clark Opened The Floodgates
Prior to this year, only 2 women in the WNL’s top division had ever cleared Stage 1. This year, we had three women successfully reach the buzzer. Abby Clark was the first of these three athletes in the Elite Female division. Leading the way, her efficiency and strength were unparalleled on the course. At the time, her historic run made her the third female buzzer in Elite history. Little did we know it was simply a sign of what was to come.
7. Aaron Maggiacomo Clutches The Title
The Teen Male Stage 2 was absolutely brutal. The final obstacle, The Falling Xs, eliminated a significant number of competitors. While many athletes advanced to that obstacle, the reverse grab at the very end is what ended the hopes of so many competitors.
That was until the final runner of the Teen Male Division, Aaron Maggiacomo, stepped up to the plate. Thinking it would simply be a race to the final obstacle, Maggiacomo proved us wrong by being the only athlete to land the reverse grab and hit the buzzer. The clear on Stage 2 was Maggiacomo’s way of clinching the World Championship and ending the Teen Male runs with a bang.
6. Isabella Wakeham Runs Stage 1 Twice
Isabella Wakeham was on a roll through Stage 1, and was looking to hit her second straight buzzer when the bar on the final Throwback spun out on her. After fixing the obstacle and a short break, Wakeham returned to the course and picked up right where she left off. After “failing” the last obstacle of Stage 1, Wakeham made it back there with ease and hit the buzzer – her second straight clear on Stage 1.
5. KK Andrews Gets Another Win
Kherington “KK” Andrews may not have cleared Stage 3, but she was the only runner to clear the seventh obstacle, Pressure Point, in the Preteen Female Division. Why is a non-clear so high on the list? Simple. This was KK’s second World Championship, and she not only nabbed that title, but Strongest Ninja as well. With podiums in every single Stage and Skill, KK continued to prove she’s a force to be reckoned with.
4. Noah Meunier Reaches Uncharted Territory
This was the run that proved it could be done. Despite being ineligible for World Champion, Noah Meunier ran his heart out on Stage 3 and did what no one in the top division of the WNL had done before: clear Stage 3. This historic run put Meunier in first place overall on Stage 3, and solidified his title as the Elite Male’s World’s Strongest Ninja.
3. Charlie Ball Electrifies The Crowd
All Charlie Ball had to do was clear the second to last obstacle of Stage 3, Pressure Point, in under 2:11.48. As the last runner of the division, all eyes were on Ball as he breezed through the course. As he completed Pressure Point, it was official: Charlie Ball was your World Champion. Before facing down Ax Factor, Ball turned to the crowd and hyped them up by shouting and waving his arms. The audience got into it as Charlie took on the final obstacle. With everyone backing him, Ball crushed Ax Factor and was the only Preteen Male competitor to hit the Stage 3 buzzer.
2. Addy Herman Nearly Sweeps The Competition
The best score you could get at the World Championships is a 7. This means you placed first across all Stages and Skills. Elite Female competitor Addy Herman had a final score of 8. Herman earned the fastest time in all three Stages and won every Skill except for one, where she got second. Very rarely do we see as powerful a performance as Herman displayed, and it ought to be commended.
1. Tyler Smith Makes History
This run brought some of our staff to tears. While everyone was still riding the high of Noah Meunier clearing Stage 3, Tyler Smith immediately followed up with another buzzer. Tyler was sailing through the early portion of Stage 3 until he had a slight misgrab on a sloper hold. After correcting his error, it was back to business as usual. The tech-specialist Smith advanced to Ax Factor, and at that point, we all knew what was about to happen. No one was surprised that Smith cleared Stage 3, but everyone was still incredibly excited. Smith’s run cemented his spot in WNL history – and the title of World Champion.