UC Davis grad, Sacramento native ‘among the elite’ in American Ninja Warrior finals

Originally published by SacBee.com on July 19, 2018

Sacramento native and local business owner Anna Shumaker represented the region with a run on the “American Ninja Warrior” course in the season 10 finals in Los Angeles, which aired Monday on NBC.

“ ‘American Ninja Warrior’ follows hundreds of competitors as they test their skills on new obstacles in an attempt to join Isaac Caldiero as just the second person ever to win the $1 million grand prize,” reads a description of the show.

Ultimately, the 26-year-old gymnast and UC Davis graduate failed to complete the course. Her run lasted 7 minutes, 16 seconds and ended on the “giant cubes.”

According to the show’s commentary team, Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, at 5-foot-4, Shumaker’s height limited her ability to move from one giant cube to the next.

Still, she was referred to after her run as being “among the elite” by the commentators. The team also dubbed her Anna “Playmaker” Shumaker.

Though she didn’t make it to the end, as the crowd began to chant her name, Shumaker became the first woman to make it past the “door knob drop,” which is where her course ended when she appeared on the qualifying episode on June 6. Additionally, Shumaker climbed the “warped wall” successfully for the first time.

“Simply Magical,” Shumaker said on Facebook. “These are the only words I can think of to describe this moment. Feels like just yesterday that I started dreaming of this moment. It’s been a goal of mine from the beginning to get up that wall. Still can’t believe it’s come true.”

As seen on the show, Shumaker’s mom and her mom’s boyfriend were in attendance for the finals and they even brought along the family dog Bosley.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Shumaker resides in Sacramento and owns two businesses, ShuFit Personal Training, which is located in West Sacramento, and OnPoint Nutrition.

Shumaker graduated from Alameda High School in 2010 and from UC Davis in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in exercise biology. She competed in gymnastics for 18 years, including for the Aggies.

She began training for “American Ninja Warrior” in 2015 and saw it as a way to fulfill the competitive drive that fueled her gymnastics career.

Prior to the appearance in the finals this week and her qualifying run in June, Shumaker is coming off an appearance in the finals of “Team Ninja Warrior’s” second season as part of Team NorCal Ninjas. She also competed on season nine of “American Ninja Warrior,” but said her run was not aired.

“It’s been so surreal, and I can’t thank everyone enough for the kind words, love, and support I have received,” Shumaker said. “And a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came to my watch party! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be surrounded by so many amazing and supportive people. It truly warmed my heart having you all there with me.”

You can see Shumaker’s full run here on “American Ninja Warrior’s” official YouTube channel.

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio: www.dwilsonjourno.com.
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