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High Schooler from Lakeville competes on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ tonight for up to $1 million

High schooler Noah Meunier from Lakeville has made it to the finals of this season's "American Ninja Warrior."NBC/Elizabeth Morris/NBC

And then there was one.

Of the 17 New Englanders who started out on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” this season, just one remains: 17-year-old Noah Meunier of Lakeville.

The Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School senior — one of the small tribe of “American Ninja” stars who train in Fall River — goes for the $1 million prize on the show’s season finale Sept. 11.

His girlfriend and fellow national-qualifying Ninja, Addy Herman of Pembroke, got eliminated in an earlier episode, but cheered for Meunier on last Monday’s episode as he conquered the stage 2 course in blistering time.

For the uninitiated, NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” tests competitors’ athleticism against grueling physical feats. I’m a fan of the fun, and was especially pumped to see so many New Englanders start out this 15th season. Ten advanced to the national finals in Las Vegas. The Lakeville teen is the last local standing.

Meunier competes next on stage three, “which focuses on grit and endurance.” If he makes it, he’ll move to stage four: Mount Midoriyama, “a roughly 80-foot rope-climb you have to complete in under 30 seconds,” he says. “I’d say they save the hardest obstacle for last.”


He and Herman met at training at Vitality Obstacle Fitness in Fall River. The Spindle City gym is, evidently, a hot spot for regional ninja talent. Ninja finalist Taylor Johnson, who works at Mass. General, also trains there.

“We have a large squad that trains at Vitality,” said Meunier in our recent phone interview, adding that a few Fall River-trained ninjas made it to the show’s national finals this year.

Herman has been on the show before, but “this is my rookie season,” Meunier said. “Moving on to stage three was big for me.”

Herman, along with friends and family, will cheer from the Las Vegas sidelines on Monday’s finale.


Meunier’s father, who walks with two canes, is a lifelong “inspiration,” Meunier said. “He has battled transverse myelitis, an infection of the spine, which he was diagnosed with at age 16. He’s been able to have a steady job and provide for our family. That’s inspired me my whole life.”

Meunier’s mother “has been so supportive of my ninja career, driving me to practices before I had my license and competitions cheering me on,” he added.

A fan of the show since he was 9, Meunier dabbled in soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, karate, martial arts, and parkour before he “really landed on ‘Ninja Warrior’ ” at 11.

What’s the draw? “You can see the progression. If you’re failing an obstacle, you practice it, you work on it, you eventually get it. That progression is motivating. In other sports, it’s a lot harder, especially for kids, to see” clear progress, he said.

“Also, I believe ‘Ninja Warrior’ also teaches a very important life skill, which is you’re going to fail — you need to pick yourself back up and keep trying.”

Lauren Daley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.