Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Wilchester Elementary student competing on American Ninja Warrior Junior show


In the third season of American Ninja Warrior Junior on NBC’s Peacock streaming channel, Grace Schneider, a fifth grader from Spring Branch ISD’s Wilchester Elementary School, is one of 32 competitors in the nine-to-10-year-old age group.

Her first appearance on the show, which was filmed in June, will broadcast on the Thursday, September 16, episode number three of 15. While Schneider cannot reveal the results of the competition, her family and friends will enjoy rooting for her during upcoming episodes. A watch party at Wilchester Elementary is planned on Thursday. 

“We are so excited for Grace, and would love to celebrate her in any way we can,” Wilchester Principal Liz Goodman said.  

Schneider got interested in the sport of Ninja by involvement in competitive leagues at RISE at the Warehouse.

“The sport of Ninja takes place in a fun, supportive environment,” Jennifer Schneider, Grace’s mother, said. “Everyone cheers for each other.”

There was a casting call last February for competitors to be on the new season of American Ninja Warrior Junior. Schneider submitted a video and was interviewed for a possible chance to be on the show. This led to a request for an additional video. And then waiting!

“One Friday night, my parents knocked on my bedroom door to tell me I had been chosen to compete on the show!” Schneider said. 

She put in extra practice time with her coach on the course at RISE at the Warehouse in advance of the June filming of the American Ninja Warrior Junior competition in Los Angeles. Schneider noted that it was fun on the set to see some friends whom she had met in Texas competitions and to meet new friends from across the country.

Boys and girls compete against each other in this sport. “I hope to show that even when girls go against boys, they can do anything,” Schneider said.

One of her biggest “cheerleaders” is her former fourth-grade math and science teacher Rachel Marino. “She watches the show all the time,” Schneider said. Schneider is also strong in math and science, especially anything to do with NASA, which created an additional bond between teacher and student. Marino wrote a letter of recommendation to the show’s producers for her then-student and is hosting the after-school viewing party this week.

“Grace is extremely dedicated, driven, and goal minded,” said Marino. 

“All of these traits she exhibited not only at school, but she also incorporated them into her Ninja training for competitions! I could not be more proud of her hard work and perseverance!” 

No matter the results of competing nationally on the junior stage, Schneider plans to keep competing with the goal of appearing on the “big show,” American Ninja Warrior, when she turns 15.

We are #SBISDProud of Schneider’s accomplishments now and in the future. Go Grace!