Two Connecticut residents, including a former NBC Connecticut weather intern, battled their way through the finals Monday night on season 7 of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" but failed in stage 3 of the grueling competition.
This season marked Joe Moravsky's third on "American Ninja Warrior," which tests physical strength and speed and athletes dodge, dart and climb their way through impressive obstacle courses.
The winner takes home $1 million and the title of American Ninja Warrior.
According to Moravsky, originally of Sherman, practicing parkour, gymnastics and rock climbing are three of the best ways to train. Moravsky himself works as a gymnastics instructor in Newtown.
He's also a meteorologist who has interned for NBC Connecticut's Chief Meteorologist Brad Field, earning himself the nickname "Ninja Weatherman."
During Season 5, Moravsky finished sixth in the Baltimore Qualifiers, second in the Baltimore Finals and second in the Las Vegas Finals. He then earned three first-place finishes on Season 6 and was selected for Team USA to compete in "USA vs. The World," according to his website.
He went into the season finale with two second-place finishes under his belt. Although he completed stage 2 of the finale, Moravsky fell on the "ultimate cliffhanger" obstacle during stage 3 and was eliminated.
"So close. It's just a shame. But I'll be back," he said after falling.
"I love you guys," he told the crowd.
Also competing Monday night was South Florida native and current Connecticut resident Drew Dreschel, who has been a finalist in three prior seasons.
Dreschel, who works as director and lead instructor of the New Era Ninjas training facility in Hamden, finished stage one of this season's finals with the fourth-fastest time, according to a press release from New Era Gymnastics.
He was a finalist in season 3, 4 and 5.
Like Moravsky, Dreschel completed stage 2 and advanced to stage 3 Monday night. He became the fifth competitor in history to reach the hang climb, a 12-foot-long upside-down rock climbing structure that leaves athletes essentially hanging by their fingertips.
Dreschel fell on the transition. It was, nonetheless, the best season of his career and the farthest he's ever advanced.
"What a season for Drew Dreschel," one of the announcers said after Dreschel was eliminated.
History Is Made
Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten were the only two contestants to advance to stage 4.
Britten became the first ever American to scale Mount Midoriyama, a 75-foot rope that must be climbed in under 30 seconds. He finished with less than a second to spare.
Caldiero, however, had about three seconds left on the clock. He won the $1 million prize and the title of American Ninja Warrior.