Bethel alumni competing to become the next American Ninja Warrior

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On May 30, the 10th season of American Ninja Warrior will begin airing on NBC. However, the actual filming of the show began on March 6 and will wrap up on May 26, including a stop at Indianapolis on April 29-30. And at that stop, Bethel alumnus Jesse Maurer will be competing in that event.

"It's been a dream of mine for several years now to compete on the show," said Maurer. "As a child, I always loved climbing anything and everything that was anywhere near me, so it's just kind of part of who I am to love climbing and things like that... watching the show, I fell in love with it." A friend of Maurer's who is also a fan of the show found an American Ninja Warrior training gym last summer that was only about an hour away, and they began going there to work out and have fun. It wasn't until talking to some of the athletes there who have already competed on the show that Maurer realized trying out may not be as hard as he had once thought. "It's a pretty extensive application that you fill out online," explained Maurer. "Basically, all your sports background, your family background, your work background, anything and everything about your life that you think they might be interested in you put in that application... you also make a three-minute video basically showcasing any special skill you have that would pertain to the TV show, and also just talking about kind of a highlight of who you are as a person, and what you've done." Maurer completed the application last fall, and on March 21 he received what he entitled "the call," letting him know that he had been accepted to compete. "It was really exciting," said his brother Joshua Maurer, a current Bethel senior double majoring in theatre and business. "I was shocked and very, very proud." Joshua added that he does not plan to try ever out for American Ninja Warrior himself, pursuing instead a career in the theatre. "I have, with a friend, started a theatre company, and so that is one of my number one priorities," said Joshua. "That's been a dream of mine for a while... our first show is in about three or four weeks." At right about that time, his brother will be competing in Indianapolis. As he prepares for the contest, both at home and at the gym, Jesse is also looking toward the future. "My plans now would be to re-apply again for next year," said Jesse. "Also, they have local competitions; there's something they call the National Ninja League that is completely unrelated to the TV show, but the same type of sport, and they hold local competitions around the country in the fall—basically their season runs from August to February-ish—and I will definitely be competing in those as well." "It's really cool that Bethel has two recent grads both getting on [American] Ninja Warrior this year," said Joshua. "I hope they both do really well." Bethel alumnus Justin Allen will also be competing in American Ninja Warrior this year; however, attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.
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