Excessive Heat Warnings

Iowa Cousins Compete to Become American Ninja Warrior

GRIMES, Iowa -- "We both have kind of a crazy bone in our body and it kinda meshes well," said Tyler Smith of Johnston. Smith, and his cousin, Spencer Johnson of Clive, recently put their strength and agility to the test at the regional American Ninja Warrior competition in Kansas City.

"There`s about 77,000 applicants and I was blessed to be one of about a hundred that got a call back to compete in the show," said Johnson. Considering those odds, for both of the cousins to be invited to compete was quite an accomplishment in and of itself.

"I`d say there`s a little bit of genes involved here, but ultimately we just both push each other really hard," said Smith.

The cousins train extremely hard all year round, at their homes and at Climb Iowa in Grimes.

"We`re both super competitive," said Johnson. "Even when we train together, you know, he gets something, I want to get it. I get something, he wants to get it. You know, we just feed off each other and I think that`s been a big part of our success."

But don't let that competitive spirit fool you; these two are rooting for each other.

"We want each other to succeed, bad enough that we, I`d like to say that we would definitely give our spot for each other," said Johnson.

Smith feels the same way. "After being on last year, and Spencer not getting the call, I was super bummed about that and he`s a super genuine guy and he was really happy for me, but this year when I found out that he was going to be getting called too, I was almost more excited than getting the call again myself," said Smith.