Bay Area athletes go for the glory

The Bay Area will be well represented during the Monday, July 15 episode of “American Ninja Warrior” (8 p.m., NBC).

Four local contestants — Verdale Benson (Concord), David Campbell (Scotts Valley), Brian Kretsch (Alamo) and Seth Rogers (Pleasanton) — have advanced to the City Finals round of the competition, which kicks off in Los Angeles. There, they will confront up to 10 daunting obstacles including a new one called “Leaps of Faith.”

Benson, Campbell and Kretsch are all veterans of the series and very familiar to viewers. Campbell and Kretsch, in fact, have competed in all 11 seasons of “American Ninja Warrior.”

Rogers, in contrast, is a promising rookie on the scene. A 19-year-old Foothill High School alum, he has performed well in ninja competitions throughout the country before he was old enough to compete on the actual show.

On Monday’s episode, the top contestants will advance to the National Finals in Las Vegas. In a new twist this season, the two fastest finishers will take on the “Power Tower” obstacle for a chance to win a safety pass. The safety pass will give the ninja a second chance on the course if he or she falls on Stage 1 or 2 at the National Finals.

Another Bay Area athlete, Berkeley’s Sean Bryan, has also qualified for the City Finals, but will compete in a future episode. He has appeared in three previous seasons.

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