American Ninja Warrior Helps Out Naperville Central Gymnastics

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As Naperville Central boys gymnastics coach Dan Bajek enters his third season at the helm of the varsity program, one of his assistants does more than just help coach these gymnasts to top scores on the mat. Check out the latest feature story, presented by Edward Medical Group.

“I knew something he could bring to our program besides just being a former athlete here and a former gymnast, ninja warrior and gymnastics they’re really related in terms of upper body strength the core a lot of the skills and so he’s brought some of that edge over here. I’m always a big part of coaching and working with kids trying to help them improve not only in the sport that they’re in but also in life a big part of me is just giving back to the community as I came back from.”

Since 2018, you’ve seen former Naperville Redhawk, Cameron Baumgartner put his athletic talent onto American Ninja Warrior. Baumgartner a 2015 graduate, who played soccer, wrestled, and competed for the Naperville Central gymnastics team, is now showcasing himself on the worldwide stage. His third season it turned out to be a stellar one where he qualified for the Las Vegas National Finals, but his run came to an end in the second part of stage one. Baumgartner is also ninja coach at Ultimate Ninja’s of Naperville, which happened to give him the idea to jump into competing for the televised contest when he first began training at the club as a student.

“It just turned into a passion where I just started going each and every week I started to love it and then slowly became part of what’s know as the Chicago crew of American Ninja Warrior and they brought me in they taught me the ropes they got me into competing and then three months later I’m competing on the show and it’s been non stop from there.”

Now in the spring, he is using his coaching ability to not only help turn either ninjas or gymnasts into competitors, but hopes they take greater strides in addition to giving their best performance.

“A big thing that I try to explain to my kids is failure is a part of the process if you’re not failing something is wrong. How do you come back from it and make yourself stronger going forward and the big thing is that’s what I want the kids to do I just want them accede and improve and most importantly have fun with the thing they love to do.”

Coach Bajek was also a former gymnast for the Red and White. So, seeing Cam follow similar footsteps is a bright spot in the gymnastics room.

“It is fun to tell the students hey you have a coach here that also that also excels in that not only did excel in gymnastics because he did very well for our program when he was on our team but he excels in that sport as well and they’ve seen him on TV they’ve seen him on YouTube and so they’re really excited about that.”

After the conclusion of the 2022 season, Baumgartner will be locked in and focused for American Ninja Warrior. As he competes in his fourth season, it will be exciting to see how far the Naperville Central Redhawk alum will fly.

For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo.