After placing 8th in the Philadelphia qualifier round of American Ninja Warrior, Marshall University student Tyler Cravens said he knew he had more to give. In hopes of winning, he will return to the arena for the 2017 season of American Ninja Warrior, an obstacle course race on NBC that tests competitors’ strength, agility and climbing ability.
Cravens, a 27-year-old exercise science student from Chesapeake, Ohio, said competing on the show has helped him grow personally and gain more confidence. He will compete in the Cleveland qualifier round with the episode’s air date scheduled for late June.
"I was always the skinny, weak kid who wasn’t strong and would get picked on. I would love to use this platform and my experience on the show to reach out and motivate others going through a tough time," Cravens said. "As soon as I returned home from Philadelphia last year, I felt the community’s support and I knew I wanted to pursue another chance on the show. It just made me want to try that much harder to win."
Cravens said he fell in the finals last year, but that didn’t stop him from overcoming that obstacle and training for another season. With over 100,000 applicants this season, Cravens said he feels extremely fortunate to be chosen once again as a member of the "ninja community."
"Everyone sitting at home sees a two-minute run from a contestant, but what they don’t see are the countless hours of training all year long and the obstacles we put before us to overcome the challenges we are given," Cravens said. "I’m no different than anyone else competing; I just want to keep inspiring others to achieve their goals, whatever those may be."
Cravens said he would like to give special recognition to his Chesapeake community, his family, his girlfriend and the faculty members at Marshall University who allowed him to take his finals early last semester to prepare for the competition. He also recognized Michael Nowoslaski and his family who made it possible for him to compete in the Cleveland region.
Follow Cravens’ journey on American Ninja Warrior by following him on Facebook or Instagram: @tyler_cravens1.
To learn more about the exercise science program housed in the College of Health Professions, visit www.marshall.edu/cohp online.
Photos: (Above) Marshall University student Tyler Cravens will compete in this year’s edition of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior once again after placing 8th in the Philadelphia qualifier last year. (Below) Tyler Cravens shows his strength on Marshall’s Huntington campus.