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Student ‘ninjas’ to compete against Michigan

A trio of Ohio State students competes in "Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness" on set in Los Angeles. Credit: Courtesy of Brynn Schlemitz

A trio of Ohio State students competes in “Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness” on set in Los Angeles.
Credit: Courtesy of Brynn Schlemitz

While the winner of the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry has been decided on the football field, it has yet to be settled on the “Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness” course.

Two OSU students and one alumnus will compete in an episode of the obstacle course competition, a spinoff of “American Ninja Warrior,” to represent the university against the University of Michigan and other Big Ten teams.

Brynn Schlemitz, and Clay Raterman, both third-years in finance, and CJ Raterman, a recent alumnus, made the cut. The brothers and their friend went through a video-application process to land their spot at the course in Los Angeles.

“They ask for a lot of upper body and grip strength, they want to see what you can do, but it’s mainly just to show off your athletic abilities and personality,” Clay Raterman said.

After weeks of training, the three friends traveled to LA to compete during the second week of classes in August.

The team members said they trained according to their individual athletic backgrounds and specific strengths. They did not see the course until the day of the competition.

“We knew it would be a lot of upper-body strength and agility, which CJ, because of track, was really good with agility and Clay, his upper body is really strong, so we had to train what we thought it would be like,” Schlemitz said.

The entire course was challenging, but the team agreed that there was a specific obstacle called the “ring of fire” that was the most difficult.

The team was unable to disclose any results of the competition, because they are under contract with Esquire Network, but said they felt good about their performances.

“I had a vision of what I wanted to do, and I told my friends at home exactly what I wanted to do, so I think I did what I felt was going to happen,” Clay said.

Although the OSU vs. Michigan football rivalry is intense, the competition atmosphere on set was friendly, Clay Raterman said.

“Everyone was super nice to each other, and everyone’s planning visits to go see each other,” he said.

For brothers Clay and CJ, competing on the show was something they had always wanted to do.

“We have been watching the show since we were really young.” Clay said. “When we were kids we would watch it with our dad all the time.”

The Big Ten episode featuring the team from OSU will air Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. on Esquire Network.

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