Scotts Valley native wows in 'American Ninja Warrior' competition
by Joe Shreve
07.25.14 - 08:38 am

A Scotts Valley native has his sights set on bringing home the Season Six championship from the hit TV show “American Ninja Warrior.”

For Kevin Bull, a 2002 graduate of Harbor High School and lifelong athlete, competing on the show is a dream come true as it allows him push himself to the limit on the show's challenging — and unforgiving — obstacle course

“It's designed to test an extra-wide range of skills,” he said. “You've got to be very well-rounded.”

The show, an American version of the Japanese show “Sasuke,” challenges athletes to complete an increasingly difficult obstacle course using their wits — and just about every muscle in their bodies.

“You do it all in one shot,” Bull said. “If you fall, your season is done.”

Athletes compete in regional events in Venice, Dallas, Miami, Denver, and St. Louis. The top two qualifiers that complete the most obstacles in the best time advance to the finals in Las Vegas, where they compete by climbing the “Mt. Midoriyama” course.

It was at the Venice regional event in April that Bull made his mark, becoming the first person in the show's six seasons to ever complete the difficult course, swinging by his legs like a trapeze artist to complete the previously unconquered “Cannonball Alley.”

Considering that, it seems almost difficult to imagine that he almost wasn't going to be on the show at all.

After watching the show for several years, and honing his body through CrossFit, the former All-American pole vaulter decided to go for it this year.

“To get on the show, you have to send in a (demonstration) video,” Bull said. “I always thought 'I could do this.'”

After hearing that his demo video had not secured him a place, he decided to find another way onto the show.

“You can attempt to walk on to the show if you show up the first day,” Bull said.

He camped outside the studio in Venice for three nights before the day of the walk-on, where he was accepted to compete.

“It was kind of a Hail Mary to do that but it paid off,” Bull said.

Now, Bull is headed to the Las Vegas competition along with the other winner from Venice, David Campbell, a previous winner who also hails from Scotts Valley.

The competition is scheduled to air on NBC on Monday, Aug. 11 at 9 p.m., Bull said.

To see Bull complete the Venice obstacle course, visit

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