Blue Valley Southwest senior shows off skills fit for a ninja

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This week's Reaching for Excellence young achiever is ranked number one out of 60 in the region for obstacle course racing, you may know it as "Ninja Warrior." FOX 4 went to the gym to see Cody Ratterman in action.

"Once or twice a week I train with some of the guys who have been on the TV show," Ratterman told FOX 4. "You never know what they'll do. Almost every single time you go to a competition, there will be something that you've never seen before."

What Ratterman calls luck...

"I made it to national finals and got to run the first stage. I got lucky and I won it."

We'll call skill.

The Blue Valley Southwest High School senior learned about Ninja Warrior in middle school while visiting a friend.

"He told his mom to turn on Ninja Warrior, the old Japanese TV show. He was mesmerized and knew he just had to try it. His work has clearly paid off. He recently returned from California where he placed 34th at the National Ninja League Championship.

"He has learned over time that if he works hard, he'll see the fruits of his labor. He's seeing the fruits of his labor, now," dad Phil Ratterman said.

But Ninja Warrior is not his only big accomplishment; he's also a rock climber who placed 8th at Midwest Regionals, and a varsity pole vaulter who won at the regional level. He's also a state winner for the 4x4, 400-meter dash.