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Sumter hosts first Ninja Warrior contest of its kind in S.C.

BY SHELBIE GOULDING shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 11/29/19
American Ninja Warrior enthusiasts from across the Southeast put their strength to the test at the Athlete Warrior Games November qualifier course in Sumter this weekend. Located at Miss Libby's Annex, 56 Market St., 12 adults competed during …

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Sumter hosts first Ninja Warrior contest of its kind in S.C.

Posted

American Ninja Warrior enthusiasts from across the Southeast put their strength to the test at the Athlete Warrior Games November qualifier course in Sumter this weekend.

Located at Miss Libby's Annex, 56 Market St., 12 adults competed during Sunday's AWG competition, which is focused on building up the sport of Ninja Warrior and bringing a competitive Ninja Warrior League that provides obstacle course ninjas of all skill levels an even playing field on which to compete.

"The basic category is you get a point for each obstacle or multiple points on an obstacle, and you try to accumulate your points by getting further in the obstacle. The further you go into the obstacle, the more difficult it becomes," said Seth Reimer, Sumter Ninja Warrior director.

AWG has become an elite Ninja Warrior League throughout the greater Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast. There have been other smaller-scale ninja warrior competitions at Miss Libby's, but this was the first AWG competition held in South Carolina.

Reimer said he had a total of 50 competitors of all ages register. On Saturday, ages 17 and under competed, while on Sunday, ages 18 and up competed.

The course consisted of strength and balance in seven obstacles. Competitors had to strategically finish the course, which involved lifting, jumping, log rolling, swinging, climbing and more.

Every obstacle had an easy route that was worth less points and a hard route that was worth more points. The goal was to finish with the most points.

"People start training early," Reimer said. "Whether it's simple pullups or balancing on everyday objects, it's like being a kid again. I have a lot of people who build obstacles in their backyard."

On Sunday, 12 adults, men and women, competed for first, second and third place. Reimer said winners of the qualifier course will be qualified for the regional competition, which will happen later at Rock Solid Warrior in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Everyone does the same course," Reimer said. He said men and women do the same course, but there is a male and female winner.

Reimer said the time to complete the course is based on the class the competitor falls under: masters (female division, 36+, and male division, 39+), professional (female division, 18-35, and male division, 18-38) and amateur (female division, 18-35, and male division, 18-38).

The master class has 10 minutes to complete the course, and the professional class and adult class both had five minutes to complete the course.

Throughout the competition, each competitor cheered one another on, encouraging them to push harder and make as many points as possible.

"I've never really been around a sport like this," Reimer said, "that's so encouraging to others."

"It brings you back to your youth, and it's an amazing workout," competitor Kim Saguinsin said.

She and her husband, Tim Saguinsin, both of Morrisville, North Carolina, have been competing in Ninja Warrior games for years together.

"It's all about testing and pushing myself to see where my body can go," Tim Saguinsin said.

The Saguinsins are hoping to make it to the regional competition as they qualified after Sunday's competition.

"I'm trying to help those 40-plus-year-old women let all of us know that you're not too old to do this," Kim Saguinsin said. "You still have a seat at the table."

Sumter AWG November qualifier winners

Master men's class: Tim Saguinsin with 23 points at 9 minutes, 15 seconds

Master women's class: Kim Saguinsin with 17 points at 7:14

Professional men's class: Tony Noonkester with 30 points at 4:54

Professional women's class: Kristine Karlson-Chestnut with 22 points at 5:00

Adult men's class: William Koschmeder with 30 points at 4:58

There were no adult women's class competitors