Former Husker pole vaulter and “American Ninja Warrior” veteran Jessie Graff has earned a spot in the show’s national competition.
Graff qualified for nationals during Monday’s episode of the NBC show. To earn the feat, she had to tackle shrinking steps, a barrel roll, the warped wall and salmon ladder, among other obstacles.
Graff, a professional stuntwoman, was the first woman to successfully complete the floating monkey bars. That obstacle looked like a traditional set of monkey bars, but athletes had to move each bar to the next set of cradles to advance.
Of all the contestants, Graff advanced the farthest. She was the third athlete to reach the ninth obstacle, but dropped halfway through. That obstacle had athletes climbing up and down a series of steeply slanted panels.
Graff, who made her first “Ninja Warrior” appearance in 2013, will compete at the nationals in Las Vegas. The first episode of the Las Vegas national finals will air Aug. 26.
She missed the national finals last year because she was working on the new “Wonder Woman” movie, announcers said during her run on Monday.
Graff wasn’t the only ninja competitor with Nebraska ties to compete on this season of the show. Newcomers Mike Galeski, a Creighton University student, and Leigh Jahnke, a student at UNL, appeared in an episode in mid-June. Veteran competitor Maggi Thorne also appeared in that episode; Thorne is recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury she sustained during her run.
Sign up for the Live Well Nebraska newsletter
Get the latest health headlines and inspiring stories straight to your inbox.