Arts & Entertainment

Updated: Governor Livingston Alum Anthony DeFranco Advances in 'American Ninja Warrior' Competition with 'Fastest Run of the Night'

Gov. Livingston alum Anthony DeFranco competes in American Ninja Warrior Cleveland Qualifiers airs Monday, July 10 on NBC at 8 p.m. Credits: American Ninja Warrior

Update as of Monday, July 10, 2017 11 p.m.: Anthony DeFranco completed the course with the "fastest run of the night" Monday evening at the Cleveland Qualifiers of the NBC hit show "American Ninja Warrior." Stay tuned to TAPinto Berkeley Heights for the schedule of DeFranco's next run. 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - After appearing on NBC’s hit series “American Ninja Warrior” last year, Anthony DeFranco of Berkeley Heights and a 2011 graduate of Governor Livingston High School, is set to return to the show, which airs on NBC Monday, July 10 at 8 p.m. eastern time. 

After advancing to the Las Vegas finals last year after placing 11th in the City Finals in Philadelphia, DeFranco looks to make another return to glory as he takes center stage in primetime Monday night in the Cleveland qualifiers. 

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DeFranco has been an athlete his whole life and was a member of the track and wrestling teams when he was at GL. He was the 2011 outdoor pole vault state champ before he graduated and continued his pole vaulting career at Rider University.

Given a strong performance and result last year, DeFranco, who, after coaching at his alma matter as a pole vaulting coach and now works full time as an accountant, hasn’t changed much of his preparation at all leading up to the event, as he worked to improve some minor details that can lead to bigger results.

“I’ve trained to improve my grip and upper body endurance by continuing to rock climb and train in my little boiler room training area too,” said DeFranco, talking about what he tried to improve on in his training.

For some people, the bright lights is too much pressure and it is difficult to perform at your highest capabilities when everything is on the line with countless people watching.  However, that is not the case for DeFranco, who thrives under pressure and loves to compete under the spotlight on a big stage.

That, coupled with the disappointment of not reaching as far as he would have liked, has motivated the former Highlander to make a return appearance and strive for even better results, inspiring those who watch on tv.

“I wanted to return to the show because I want to do better than I did last year,” said DeFranco.  “I feel that I have so much to improve on and I honestly just love the rush of competing.”

“Being under the lights in the middle of the night really tests your limits and it is a huge mental challenge.”

Given that DeFranco not only trains for one of the most physically demanding and challenging shows in all of television, on top of the fact that he works full time as an accountant, means that he utilizes all of his time to the fullest and is always on his feet.

“I balance training with the busy day-to-day work schedule by being committed to my training,” said DeFranco on his daily routine.  “I don’t really get the benefit of sitting down and relaxing during the week since I usually have to go straight from work, into my workout gear, and off to training.”

“It is all worth it though.”

We hope that all the hard work will pay off Monday night as the 6th episode of season 9 of American Ninja Warrior airs, so be sure to tune in to watch the Governor Livingston native.

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