McKinney Freshman Competing on American Ninja Warrior Junior - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

McKinney Freshman Competing on American Ninja Warrior Junior

Nolan Ward is only one of two North Texas teens who will be featured on American Ninja Warrior Junior.

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    McKinney Freshman Competing on American Ninja Warrior Junior

    He’s one out of thousands of kids across the country to try out and make it on to American Ninja Warrior Junior. (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    He’s one of thousands of kids across the country to try out and make it on to American Ninja Warrior Junior.

    It’s a dream come true for 15-year-old Nolan Ward from McKinney, who says he’s still can’t believe he made the cut.

    "I did not think I was going to place as high as I did," Nolan said.

    But he did. In fact, Nolan is only one of two North Texas teens who will be featured on American Ninja Warrior Junior.

    He’ll be right alongside Christian, the other North Texas competitor, now one of Ward’s best friends.

    "I didn’t think I was going to make it. Like, I was just, like, out of so many kids, 'I don’t think I’m going to make it,' and then I ended up making it, and I was like, 'No way. I made it,'" Nolan said.

    Nolan was one of less than 200 kids chosen out of more than 7,000 applicants across the country.

    It was his hard work and dedication to mastering the course that paid off.

    For the past four years, Nolan has been training with coach Karsten Williams who runs Ninja Nation in Frisco.

    "He’s come a long way, and he’s actually on pace to be much better than I am at my age," Williams said.

    Williams is a seasoned competitor on NBC’s "American Ninja Warrior", now preparing for his seventh run at trying to finish the world’s most notorious obstacle course.

    "So to win this whole thing, you have to beat six stages total and I haven’t got past stage one yet in the national finals," Williams said.

    So he’s going at it again, while at the same time teaching Nolan everything he knows to be successful on the junior course.

    "With Nolan, the sky is the limit. He’s got a lot of potential. He’s got a good work ethic. So, it’s up to him where he wants to take this thing," Williams said.

    "I just get to experience an amazing experience, run on the real thing and I’m going to be on TV," Nolan said. "This is going to be amazing. My dream has come true!"

    Even more so because Nolan has Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that sometimes affects his ability to socialize.

    "I had never been in a sport before. I had always wanted to be part of a sport, and I was like, American Ninja Warrior is a perfect fit, because it just looks the most fun," Nolan said.

    Ward’s episode airs Saturday at 6 p.m. on Universal Kids. After it airs, Nolan says he’ll be shifting his focus to the ultimate competition - the adult version of American Ninja Warrior, which airs on NBC 5.

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