His appearance of ANW 11 marked the very first time where he was called to compete on the show.
In American Ninja Warrior 6, he competed in St. Louis. His run was cut, but it was revealed he cleared the course in 3:58.66, placing 24th. In St. Louis finals, his run was digested but it was shown he failed the Salmon Ladder and didn't move on.
In American Ninja Warrior 7, he competed in Kansas City. His run was cut, but it was revealed he cleared in 2:23.64, placing 23rd. In the finals, his run was cut again but it was revealed he failed the Flying Shelf Grab, placing 21st and not moving on.
Dave competed in Philadelphia where his run was all cut, but it was revealed he failed the Wall Drop and for once did not make the top 30 in qualifying.
In American Ninja Warrior 9, he again competed in Kansas City. His runs in Kansas City were remarkably very similar to ANW 7. His qualifying run was digested, but he completed the qualifying course, being one of only ten finishers, clearing in 3:06.51 and placing seventh. In the finals, he was again digested, but it was shown he made it to the eighth obstacle again, as he failed the Floating Monkey Bars. This season, however, he went far enough fast enough to place him in fifth overall.
In Stage 1, his run was digested yet again, but it was shown he cleared the course with one of the fastest times of the night: 38.24 seconds left. His run was digested for a fourth time, but it was shown he failed the Wave Runner. Ultimately, Dave went the farthest out of any walk-on in ANW 9, making it to the third obstacle in Stage 2.
Despite having a strong performance as a walk-on last year. Dave Cavanagh ended up waiting in the walk-on line again in American Ninja Warrior 10. This became his longest time waiting out of the five seasons, waiting for 23 days before competing.
Cavanagh competed in Philadelphia once again, where this time, he finished the qualifying course. Cavanagh had attempted the Mega Wall, but wasn't able to scale it. However, he still finished the normal Warped Wall with the second fastest time of the night behind Chris Wilczewski.
In the city finals, Dave became the first competitor that conquered the Captain's Wheel. He unfortunately fell on Spinball Wizard when he swung too high, but placed 5th overall and moved on to Las Vegas. His run on Stage 1 was cut but it was revealed that he failed the Jumping Spider.
For the first time, Cavanagh has been called to compete on American Ninja Warrior 11. He competed in Baltimore, where he put together a spectacular run, finishing with the top time and advancing to the Power Tower. He faced off against Conor Galvin, and were neck-and-neck for the most part until the balance beam portion of the obstacle. From there, Cavanagh didn't hesitate, and quickly raced his way to victory for the Speed Pass, beating Galvin. During the city finals, he was the final runner of the night, but he was one of many to fail the Angry Birds. He also placed 1st and faced Lucas Reale on the Power Tower, and he won the match. On Stage one his run was digested but he still cleared. On Stage Two, he surprisingly failed Giant Walk the Plank but since he had the safety pass, he was allowed a second run on the course. On his second run, he got revenge on Walk the Plank but failed the Extension Ladder, thus ending his season.
Cavanagh has waited in the walk-on line in all five seasons he has competed on American Ninja Warrior:
- ANW 6: 9 days in walk-on line
- ANW 7: 13 days in walk-on line
- ANW 8: 14 days in walk-on line
- ANW 9: 18 days in walk-on line
- ANW 10: 23 days in walk-on line
In total, Cavanagh has waited a grand total of 77 days in the walk-on line, and has been selected to compete each season he has done so. He officially was called to compete in American Ninja Warrior 11, ending his consecutive walk-on day streak at 77.
|9||Failed Wave Runner (Second Stage)||Digested. Best performance|
|10||Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)||All Cut|
|11||Failed Extension Ladder (Second Stage)||Won Speed and Safety Pass|