SUU Graduate Makes Semi Finals on American Ninja Warrior

Published: November 12, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU alumna Madyson Howard competes on American Ninja WarriorSouthern Utah University alumna Madyson Blake-Howard has been a competitor on American Ninja Warrior through season twelve’s semi-finals where she completed the course and hit the buzzer for the first time. For Howard, filming a television show and working as an ICU nurse have both changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I was still in college gymnastics at SUU, and trying to decide what I was going to do after I graduated, my husband jokingly suggested that I tryout for American Ninja Warrior,” Howard said. “It seemed impossible at the time, but it’s funny to look back at that, and think that it is actually a reality now!”

Howard began competing on American Ninja Warrior in 2019. Since her debut, Howard has advanced through the rounds ranking several times and recently completed the course in the St. Louis Round 4 Qualifiers.

“It felt amazing to complete the course and hit my first buzzer,” said Howard. “Going into this season, it was my goal to hit a buzzer, so it felt great to accomplish that goal! I really wanted to make it further in the semi-finals, but unfortunately, I fell on the balance obstacle. I know that I could have made it further, so I was disappointed, but it just makes me want to train harder for next year.”

Filming for the semi-finals began in July. In addition to competing without an audience, athletes were required to wear masks, social distance, be tested regularly for COVID-19, and stay in their hotel rooms for a lot of the process.

“It was a lot different competing without a crowd this year,” Howard said. “It was much quieter on the course, but I had my family cheering for me on the TVs, as well as my two teammates on the sidelines.”

In addition to competing on American Ninja Warrior, Howard works as an ICU nurse in St. George, Utah and has been working with critical patients throughout the pandemic.

“Being a nurse during the pandemic has had its challenges,” Howard said. “It's hard to work in the ICU and take care of patients in really critical conditions when their families aren’t allowed to be there with them. Once the COVID patients make it to the ICU, they are very sick, and so it’s really hard to feel like we are doing everything that we can so that they get better, and some of them still don’t recover. It can be really hard physically and emotionally. It makes me grateful for my health!”

Howard graduated from SUU in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

Tags: College of Health Sciences Nursing

Contact Information:

Contact the Office of Marketing Communication