'American Ninja Warrior' Minneapolis City Qualifiers Highlights

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AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR -- "Minneapolis Qualifier" -- Pictured: Lance Pekus Adam Bettcher/NBC

There were some memorable runs—and not just among the 14 finishers—in the Minneapolis City Qualifiers on American Ninja Warrior Monday night. For some, the real victory was just stepping foot on the course, not hitting the buzzer.

Jenn Roder, 32, had been diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in January 2017, and before her surgery, her best friend, American Ninja Warrior veteran and gym owner Sarah Schoback, cheered her on as she faced a 15-foot Warped Wall in her gym. After she conquered that obstacle, Roder conquered the one that really mattered: She is cancer-free. "You don't have to hit a buzzer to have a win," host Matt Iseman said during her run. "Jenn Roder is winning tonight."

Roder didn't advance to the city finals; she fell on the Ring Jump. That third obstacle proved to be a tough one for competitors, as it even took out veteran Dan Yager, who has hit the buzzer the past three seasons in qualifying.

Roder's story wasn't the only touching one of the night. Austin Gray, 21, gave his friend, who suffers from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a kidney in February. As he stepped up to the starting line, Iseman called him "a hotshot rookie [they're] expecting big things from."

While he failed to make it up the Mega Warped Wall and didn't make it up the regular Wall on his one shot, he was still in the top 30 for the night and advanced. The 16 who didn't finish but made it to the city finals made it at least as far as the Diamond Dash, the fourth obstacle.

Lance Pekus' wife, Heather, has been battling multiple sclerosis, and it was after seeing their story on American Ninja Warrior last year that a doctor reached out to them. In the video that ran before Lance's run, Heather said that Dr. Jason West gave her hope that life will get better. The doctor said that they've been doing nutritional IV therapy, acupuncture and dietary corrections and their goal is to get her out of the wheelchair and off the walker. While Lance didn't make it up the Mega Warped Wall, he still hit the buzzer. "It means the world to me," he said after about having his wife there.

There were also a few memorable finishers on the night, including Abby Clark, the first woman to hit the buzzer in Minneapolis City. Not only was the 24-year-old the first woman to get past the Ring Jump, an obstacle she fell on last year, she also body surfed across the Diamond Dash after a stumble.

Jake Murray is always entertaining on the course. He took a corn dog out of his fanny pack after hitting the buzzer on Stage 1 of the National Finals in 2016. After his early exit last season in the Denver Qualifiers, he came back strong and hit—and kissed—the buzzer. He admitted he didn't think he had a chance at the Mega Warped Wall (though he tried it) and then went crowd-surfing.

The last runner of the night was six-time veteran Joe Moravsky, who has hit every buzzer he's ever faced in qualifying and been the last ninja standing twice. While he didn't make it up the Mega Warped Wall, which disappointed him, he did have the fastest time on the night after he hit the buzzer at 2:38:38.