Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Longmont teen Secorra Henrique proves strength, agility on “American Ninja Warrior Jr.”

Secorra Heinrichs grew up watching “American Ninja Warrior”. When the contestants on the show made it to the other side of the obstacle course and played the buzzer to signal their victory, she dreamed that it would be her one day.

Sikora, a 14-year-old freshman at Silver Creek High School, got a chance to live out that dream this year.

Sikora has now been on “American Ninja Warrior” twice—first as part of “American Ninja Warrior Jr.” and a second time for a special edition, in which she played with her sister Annabella Heinrich, 17, and dad, Sean Heinrich. competed with. For “American Ninja Warrior Fit Family”, which hasn’t aired yet.

Sikora can be seen competing in the junior version, which begins in episode four of the third season. The episode aired on 23 September.

Secorra Heinrichs practices for “American Ninja Warrior Junior” at the Warriors Playground on November 5, 2021 in Longmont. (Cliff Grasmick / Staff Photographer)

Sikora first applied to appear on the show in 2018, but didn’t make the cut. His sister, Annabella, was selected in 2019 to compete on the show, which aired in early 2020.

Sikora applied again in January. This time, she learned she’ll have a chance to compete in Los Angeles in June.

“I’ve wanted to be on the show for a very long time, so it felt like a dream come true,” Sikora said. “I was very excited, but also a little nervous.”

Secorra’s family has watched ‘American Ninja Warrior’ with him. This inspired him and Annabella to turn their backyard into a homemade obstacle course, using any landscaping materials they might have lying around: ropes, boards, and leftovers.

“They have a nice home gym now, but the first ones were definitely temporary,” said Sikora’s mom, Danielle Henrik.

Danielle said she is proud of her ninja warrior family and is recognized for doing something she loves.

“They weren’t in any organized sport before doing ninja,” Heinrich said. “Walking in the ninja gym and rowing your two daughters out – and it’s like, Where’s this sport been my whole life? Seeing both of your girls love the same sport and support and support each other It’s great to please.”

For the past 4 1/2 years, Secorra has been practicing her ninja warrior skills at Warrior Playground, 33 S. in Longmont. Pratt Parkway, and Ninja Nation, 1700 Coal Creek Drive in Lafayette. She trains for about seven hours a week and participates in state, national and world level leagues.

One of the major challenges in “American Ninja Warrior” is that the contestants don’t know in advance what obstacles they will face. Sikora, who is only 4 feet, 11 inches tall, also encountered children who were taller and older.

Longmont teen Secorra Henrique proves strength, agility on "American Ninja Warrior Jr."
Secorra Heinrichs practices for “American Ninja Warrior Junior” at the Warriors Playground on November 5, 2021 in Longmont. (Cliff Grasmick / Staff Photographer)

The junior version of the show is a spinoff of “American Ninja Warrior”. Competitors face off in side-by-side racing that includes multiple rounds and triple eliminations in each episode. The competition uses a bracket system, and ninja warriors run the same course over and over.

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The obstacle course for “American Ninja Warrior Jr.” was filmed outside, with temperatures reaching into the 90s.

Nervous, Sikora said she felt like she was about to pass out at the start line.

“I really felt the pressure of that moment, because I’ll probably remember that moment for the rest of my life, and everything I did would be on national television,” Secorra said. “It’s very nerve-wracking, because I wasn’t sure I could do everything, because I second-guessed myself.”

But, Sikora persevered.

Sikora clearly remembers the third obstacle she encountered in that race: it was a series of inclined boards hanging about 10 feet in the air over a pool of water about 3 feet deep. Players do not have a protective shield to catch them when they fall.

“It was very difficult to overcome, (but) I accomplished it in all my races,” she said.

During the knockout round against rival Jordan Fernandez, Sikora made it through the course and was the first to hit the buzzer on the other side.

“I’ve always dreamed of hitting the buzzer, seeing as everyone does it on the show,” she said. “You hit it, and smoke came out of it.”

He made it to the quarterfinals by winning three races. The rest of the audience will have to find out for themselves. People can watch shows on fuboTV or peacock as well as streaming services.

Sikora saw coming on the show as a good opportunity to showcase her skills and learn from fellow ninjas.

“It was a great experience to be on the set,” she said. “I got to see other ninjas going on the course.”

Secorra was selected to return to the show in April to compete with her father and sister at an indoor course in Seattle, Washington.

Being a ninja warrior is not easy. Staying calm in stressful situations requires endurance, good sportsmanship and the ability – anxious tremors do not bode well with balance. There are several things about the game that resonate with Sikora: There’s always a new challenge to be faced.

“Soccer, it’s the same thing: running and kicking a ball, but there are a lot of different things you can do in ninja,” she said. “You never get bored. There’s always room for improvement and variations.”

Sikora’s other interests fall in the same vein. At age 10, she became a certified scuba diver and lived underwater close to sharks, snakes and sea turtles, a place her family visits on an Indonesian island.

In addition to competing in the league, Sikora said she plans to apply to keep her skills sharp and appear on the show again within the next year.

For everyone aspiring to be a ninja warrior, Secorra said perseverance is key.

“As long as you work hard, you can do anything, as long as you put your mind to it,” Sikora said.

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