In an exclusive clip shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Potts delivers an impressive performance, persevering through some of the toughest challenges, leaving fans and her teammate cheering for her accomplishments.
Karen Potts crushes challenges that took down competitors
Height is on Potts’ side as she stands at 5′ 11″, the tallest female competitor of the evening. American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman notes of Potts, “In addition to softball, also the top soccer player.” As Potts dominates the course, she’s seen taking on the clockwork challenge, a challenge that was too much for competitor Maggie Owen earlier.
She triumphs through clockwork. “That’s got to give the rookie some confidence,” Iseman exclaims. Next, she breezes through Diamond Dash and then takes a moment to “swing the bat” for Iseman and co-host Akbar Gbajabiamila.
Karen Potts dominates the ‘American Ninja Warrior’ course
She’s ready to knock one out of the park and Iseman notes, “She’s got her initials KJP on her shirt, but she’s going for MPV right now!” Indeed Potts tackles another tough challenge – hopscotch – and Iseman notes that competitor Megan Rowe was the only other woman to reach this point that night.
Potts crushes the challenge. “Only one other woman bested it last week,” Iseman says. “KJP at 16 beats hopscotch!” Potts teammates are seen going wild on a live feed. “It’s child’s play for her!” Iseman adds.
She continues to impress the crowd when she tackles and wins the warped wall. “She’s already getting recruited by college coaches,” Iseman notes. “And you can see why. She’s a natural athlete. What a run! We lowered the age limit last year. And she’s now the second teenage girl to reach the back half of the semifinal course. Isabella Wakeham was the first to do it last year.
Gbajabiamila wants to see how she handles the salmon ladder. She hits the challenge strong, but slips and falls into the water. “Splashes down but that’s the best run by a woman tonight!” Iseman says. “Makes it to the eighth obstacle as a rookie!”
She heads to the national finals
As Potts is seen hugging her mother, Iseman proclaims, “This 16-year-old is going to the national finals! KJP may in the running for rookie of the year!”
Potts has been training for this moment for quite a while. She started training in 2018 and competed in American Ninja Warrior Junior Season 2. “Filming the show was an amazing experience because I got to meet the other junior ninjas and compete against them, as well as meet some of the top pros,” she told the Wooten Common Sense. Adding, “I never believed I’d get an opportunity like this. Many people apply every year so I didn’t think I would get chosen.”
She believes that her athletic background gave her an advantage in American Ninja Warrior challenges. “Soccer and softball have helped me a lot with ninja because I have become a better athlete through them,” she remarked. “I am also more confident in my athletic abilities, which is very important for ninja. Being engaged in multiple sports has also taught me to always work hard for what I want and it’s made me stronger mentally and physically.”
Watch Karen Potts tonight on American Ninja Warrior tonight Monday, Aug. 1 from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.