Jesse "Flex" Labreck is a gym operator from Naperville, Illinois. Labreck currently lives with fellow ANW veteran Chris DiGangi and they are currently engaged. She served as a former caregiver who helped take care of Emeline Sterpe, a young girl who has cerebral palsy. She is considered to be one of the strongest female competitors ever.
Labreck competed first in American Ninja Warrior 8. In the Philadelphia qualifier she made it to Rolling Thunder until she lost her grip. She still made it to the city finals by placing 28th. With three other women making the top 30 as well, she took part in ANW history as part of the Fantastic Four.
In the finals, she managed beat the Rolling Thunder and became just the fifth woman ever to scale the Warped Wall. She made it all the way to Stair Hopper before falling. She became the fourth woman in ANW history to qualify for Vegas placing 10th, the third in American Ninja Warrior 8. and the first to qualify as a rookie. In the Las Vegas Finals, she managed to keep a slow but steady pace until the Jumping Spider, where she ultimately failed due to her legs not getting deep enough in between the walls.
Labreck was later chosen to represent Team Matt in the Team Competition in the Second American Ninja Warrior All star Special. During her leg of the race on stage 1, she got her revenge on the Jumping Spider, but failed the Sonic Curve. On Stage 2 she made history as the first woman to complete the Wave Runner and the Butterfly Wall and the first women in the All Star history to beat the fourth obstacle after Meagan Martin failed it, and then a few seasons later Allyssa Beird became the second women to the beat it.
LaBreck also competed in the Skills Competition where she cleared 19 rungs out of 35 on the Super Salmon Ladder competition, and scaled a 17 ft warped wall on the Mega Wall Competition.
Labreck returned to compete in Cleveland in American Ninja Warrior 9 where she became just the sixth woman ever to complete a qualifying course, placing 12th overall and moved on to the city finals.
In the city finals, she was one of many to fail the Nail Clipper. However, her time to the obstacle actually landed her a spot in the top 15, just placing 15th overall. She became one of only two females in ANW 9 to land in the top 15 during a city finals course, with the other being Jessie Graff.
On Stage 1, Labreck cleared the first four obstacles with ease, But she got hung up on the rope on Parkour Run wasting energy and time, and ultimately she crashed into the water on the Flying Squirrel after failing the transition to the cargo net.
In American Ninja Warrior 10, Labreck competed in Indianapolis this time, considering she now lives in Naperville, Illinois. She moved through the course with ease and became the first woman that night to complete the Spin Hopper, as well as the first woman that season to attempt the 18-foot Mega Wall. Although she came up short on the Mega Wall, she easily scaled the regular wall and hit her second consecutive qualifying buzzer, and became just the second woman that season to complete the qualifying course. Labreck placed 10th overall at the end of the night.
In the city finals, she made history as the first woman to get past the Clacker, she fell on Cane Lane but placed 12th overall and moved on to the national finals again.
On Stage 1, Jesse smashed her face on the dismount from Jeep Run, missed her first attempt on the Warped Wall, and crashed into the water on Twist and Fly after failing the transition to the second set of handles. Since no female completed stage 1, she went the farthest out of all females this season.
Jesse returned in Cincinnati for American Ninja Warrior 11. In qualifying, she bested her fiance, Chris DiGangi, who failed Sling Shot, as she finished the course placing 6th, as well as tying Meagan Martin's record of three consecutive qualifying buzzers. In the city finals, although she did get hung up on both the Ring Swing and Spinball Wizard, Jesse did make history as the third woman ever to complete a city finals course. Just like in Qualifying, she placed 6th again, qualifying for Vegas. In the national finals, Jesse got hung up on Spin Your Wheels wasting energy and time, and for the third year in a row, she crashed into the water on the final obstacle once again failing the transition to the cargo net. Since no female competitors completed stage 1, she once again went the farthest out of all the females this season.
Jesse returned for her fifth season in American Ninja Warrior 12, and as a team captain she brought along Brittany Holterman as well as her fiance Chris DiGangi to compete. In qualifying, Jesse looked as strong as ever and had no problems with the course. She became the first woman to catch the big ring on Ring Chaser, breezed through the Ferris Wheel, and cleared the course, making it her fourth consecutive qualifying buzzer beating Meagan Martin's record of three consecutive qualifying buzzers and setting the record for women with five total buzzers (later tied by Jessie Graff). Labreck placed 11th, securing her spot in the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Jesse continued to dominate. Although she had a slight struggle on Clockwork, she ended up making it to the back half of the course and becoming the first woman to complete Corkscrew, before falling on The Dungeon, continuing her streak of having the same course results as her fiance Chris. Although Jesse just missed out on the top 12 placing 13th, she placed 1st for the women to advance to the finals. However, this was the first time Jesse failed to qualify for the finals among the men.
In the finals, she broke her streak of having the same result as Chris by completing the Falling Shelves. Although she went at a relatively slow and controlled pace, she progressed far through the course. Labreck came very close to falling on Dragonback, as she had to regrip the bar multiple times and she almost fell on the dismount, taking a hard impact. However, she managed to complete the obstacle and scale the Spider Trap to finish course and get her 6th buzzer as well as her 2nd extended course buzzer, setting two new records for women. Across both finals nights, she placed 7th, high enough to move onto the power tower playoffs, making her the first woman to compete on the Power Tower in the American competition.
As No. 7 seed, she faced No. 2 seed, Daniel Gil, in the first round of the power tower playoff. Labreck struggled with the stairs at the start of the tower and lost to Gil by a relatively significant margin. However, she was able to complete the tower and hit the buzzer at the end.
American Ninja Warrior: Women's Championship
Jesse also competed in the Women's Championship special which was taped during Season 12. She finished the course as the top woman in Round 1, In Round 2, she gassed out on the Spider Trap despite beating the obstacle twice before. She still moved onto the Power Tower where she won the first race against Tiana Webberley; but unfortunately, lost the Final race against the eventual winner of the competition, Meagan Martin.
Jesse returned for the last round of qualifying while earlier she had watch her fiancé, Chris Dignagi, fail Split Decision: Block Run so she went the other route, Log Runner then once she got past the Tilt-A-Whirl she had guaranteed her spot in the Women’s Top 5 but she once again got past Sideways (without help from the rotating wall unlike the Women’s Championship) but then hit the buzzer extending her buzzer streak in qualifying to five.
Jesse then returned for the final round of the semi-finals where once again she was the final runner of the night both in women and of the night where she got past the Diamond Dash to guarantee her spot in the Top 3 for the Women but she got past the Drop Zone which was the toughest obstacle on the course, up the Warped Wall where she promised to teach Akbar that running form, then she got to the Split Decision where she decided that she wasn’t that pumped so she went with the Dungeon (which she got past in the Women’s Championship but failed in the semi-finals of that year) but got past it climbing up the Spider Trap to hit her second semifinal buzzer and her third 10-obstacle course buzzer. This brought her total up to 8 buzzers in all.
Jesse was then the final runner of Stage 1 where she exclaimed her hatred of cargo nets. She got past all the early obstacles on the front half before getting to Tire Run where she almost missed that first handle before getting over the Warped Wall to Split Decision where she ignored the High Road but had enough cushion to try the Fly Hooks so when she got to the cargo net everyone was holding their breath but she caught the net this time and finished with 20:02 left on the clock, a new record for American Ninja Warrior, beating Allyssa Beird and Jessie Graff for a new fastest time by the women moving onto Stage 2 and hitting the 9th buzzer in her storied career. (She is also the first woman and thus far only woman in American Ninja Warrior history to have a perfect season going into Stage 2 and also the first and only woman to hit a city finals buzzer and also a Stage 1 buzzer.)
In her first run on Stage 2, while she did clear the Striding Steps, she crashed into the water when she shockingly failed the Double Salmon Ladder, thus ending her best season to date. She was the last female competitor standing for the fourth year in a row.
American Ninja Warrior: Women’s Championship 2
Jesse returned for the second ever Women’s Championship. In Round 1, she completed the course with little difficulty, beating Zhanique Lovett for the fastest time by a minute before coming in second behind Casey Rothschild, moving onto Round 2.
In Round 2, Jesse once again sailed through the early obstacles, arriving once again at Split Decision where she went with the Inverter. Jesse became the first women to complete it and the second women to complete the course, with the fastest time.
Jesse with the fastest time, ran against Allyssa Beird where Jesse sailed to the buzzer on the Power Tower before racing against the champion, Meagan Martin. Jesse got the early lead on the Power Tower and it came down to the final Dropping Shelf where Jesse got a secure grip on the shelf while Meagan didn’t, helping Jesse get to the buzzer first and winning the $50,000 prize. Jesse also admitted that the money will go towards a wedding for her and Chris DiGangi instead of a pool.
American Ninja Warrior 14
She competed in the third qualifying episode and finished the course, getting her tenth buzzer.
During the third episode of semifinals, she was hoping to get her eleventh buzzer as the final female runner, however, in a huge shock, she went out early on the third obstacle, Clockwork, an obstacle she easily cleared in the semifinals two years prior. She had trouble building up swing and attempted the transition to the second sprocket too early, coming up well short. This marked her first season that she did not qualify for the national finals, and her first time failing on the front half of a semifinals course.
Team Ninja Competitions
Because she qualified for the national finals in Season 8, Labreck was chosen to form a three person team of her own for Team Ninja Warrior 2. Labreck called her team LaBreckfast Club because it was part of her last name and that she and her teammates were known for their speed. Labreck's teammates were Jon Alexis Jr. and Noel Reyes. The team ultimately was eliminated on the sixth episode in qualifying, losing to Lorin Ball's team, the Ballers, in a sudden death match.
The Labreckfast Club returned in American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja. The time consisting once again of her and Jon Alexis Jr., but her current boyfriend and training partner Chris DiGangi replaced Noel Reyes from TNW 2. The team went on to become the champions of the whole season of team competition.
Ultimately, Jesse's final individual race record within the two seasons of team competition was 10-0.
- Her Season 13 Semi-Finals run was voted the best buzzer on American Ninja Warrior Nation.
- Jesse is the first ever woman to be the last ninja to run Stage 1 and then hit the buzzer.
- She is the first (and thus far, only) women to hit both a Stage 1 buzzer in both the regular season, American Ninja Warrior 13 and the American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World 6.
- She and Chris DiGangi are the only couple to hit the qualifying buzzer three times in Season 9, 10, and 12.
- Her and Chris DiGangi are the only couple to hit the City Finals buzzer in Season 11.
- On American Ninja Warrior 12, Jesse was the only runner to complete the finals course that did not complete the semifinal course.
|8||24||Failed Jumping Spider (Stage One)|
|9||23||Failed Flying Squirrel (Stage One)|
|10||32||Failed Twist & Fly (Stage One)||Last Female Competitor Standing.|
|11||Failed Twist & Fly (Stage One)||Last Female Competitor Standing.|
|13||Failed Double Salmon Ladder (Stage Two)||Last Female Competitor Standing.|