'American Ninja Warrior’ to feature finalist and Cheshire native Jay Lewis

Photo of Jailene Cuevas

Cheshire native and soon-to-be Syracuse University student Jay Lewis is headed Las Vegas to be a finalist on NBC's "American Ninja Warrior."

The 18-year-old competitor made his ninja debut on the obstacle course game show in 2018 for its “American Ninja Warrior Junior” edition. He also competed in the semifinals of the adult version on Aug. 9, 2021.

The show features thousands of competitors attempting to complete a series of difficult obstacle courses in various cities across the United States to later advance to the national finals on the Las Vegas Strip and become the season’s “American Ninja Warrior.”

During the July 18 episode, he tackled the Power Tower while climbing and pushing through 50-pound barriers then hitting the buzzer in nearly four minutes. He then pulled out a Syracuse University cap to announce that he’ll be attending the university in the fall. 

The university's Instagram posted the clip from the episode and captioned it, "We think you made the right choice."

Lewis said his journey on "Ninja" started by flipping through the channels with his family and grandparents. 

"We really enjoyed watching it, but at that point, it was just something that whenever we went [to his grandparents' house] for a week in the summer, we’d watch it," he told Hearst CT Media Group in 2021. "But then we started thinking about it and we were like, ‘We really like this show,’ and we started recording it and watching the season."

In 2021, Lewis said he found himself connecting with the show and its obstacle courses more than he did with the soccer he was playing, and later started to make homemade obstacle courses in the front yard. Him and his family then researched ninja gyms in Connecticut and landed on one in Hamden. 

Lewis is not the only Connecticut ninja warrior. Joe Moravsky, a former News 12 meteorologist from Monroe, won $10K on American Ninja Warrior. Danbury teen, Devan Alexander was also in season 14's semi-finals.

The National Finals of "American Ninja Warrior" kick off Aug. 15 on NBC.