Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling alum Taylor Johnson made the American Ninja Warrior Finals this past summer.
Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling alum Taylor Johnson made the American Ninja Warrior Finals this past summer.
Quinnipiac Athletics

Bobcat Report: Quinnipiac Ninja Warrior

Welcome to “Bobcat Report,” the Chronicle’s new weekly column that breaks down all the recent games, facts and lesser-known stories surrounding Quinnipiac athletics this year. 


Quinnipiac Ninja Warrior

Taylor Johnson spent her college experience on the Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling team from 2012 to 2016. Now, she’s competing on a nationally-televised show.

Following graduation, she went on to compete in American Ninja Warrior, and was named a finalist for the show this past summer. 

“Definitely what got me hooked (is) that there is something to challenge me,” Johnson told the Foxboro Reporter in July. “I was a gymnast, competitive cheerleader and ran track in high school. This show gives me an infinite number of possibilities for goal setting — I’m just going to keep coming back until I achieve them all.”

The Foxboro, Massachusetts, native was a 4-foot-11-inch star for the Bobcats, and became the shortest competitor in ANM to scale the famed Warped Wall.

“It’s been cool connecting with some of the other short ninjas because we have to approach things different,” Johnson told the Foxboro Reporter. “At the same time, I’m a little bit lighter so it does make the wear on my grip a bit less.”

On Aug. 28, Johnson competed in the show’s Season 15 Finals, and despite not winning it all, “Teej” certainly made some national noise for Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling. 


WLAX Hires Baribault

Ahead of the 2024 season, the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse program announced a new addition to the coaching staff. 

Head coach Tanya Kotowicz announced the hiring of Allyson Baribaut  as an assistant coach Thursday.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Tanya and (associate head coach) Jordan (Christopher) for warmly welcoming me into their program,” Baribault wrote in an Aug. 31 press release. “I am thrilled to be returning to Connecticut and being closer to my family.”

Baribault has a vast amount of collegiate coaching experience, with stops in SUNY Oneonta, Post, Plymouth State, MCLA and Wesleyan. As a player, she spent five seasons with Plymouth State and served as a team captain her senior campaign.

“I am incredibly excited to join the Quinnipiac Women’s Lacrosse team and contribute towards our shared goal of winning championships both on and off the field,” Baribault wrote. 


Cesca Officially Joins Dugout

Last year, Rich Cesca was a volunteer assistant with the Quinnipiac baseball program. Now, he’s officially an assistant coach and pitching coach.

Cesca joins the Bobcats’ coaching staff after a six-year stint as St. Thomas Aquinas College’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. During his collegiate career with STAC, he was a two-year starter as both catcher and first base.

In 2021, St. Thomas Aquinas went 26-7 record, received a No. 13 ranking nationally and was home to seven all-conference players. 

The Bobcats brought in assistant coach and head recruiting coordinator Trey Stover last fall to help the program, which matched a program-best 30 wins in 2023. With another solid addition to the dugout, one can imagine how Cesca can help Quinnipiac in 2024. 


Tegtmeier, Massarelli Named To Watchlist

On Tuesday, two field hockey players received more accolades to start the year. 

Graduate student midfielder Stella Tegtmeier and junior forward Emilia Massarelli were both named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Watchlist, which honors the top 131 players in collegiate field hockey across Division I. 

To be nominated for the 2023 NFHCA Watchlist, players must have been recognized by some collegiate organization within the past two years and the head coach – in Quinnipiac’s case, new head coach Nina Klein – must be an active NFHCA member.

“I trust our team, there’s a lot of talent,” Klein said on Aug. 27. “I’m just eager and ready to coach them.”

After games against New Hampshire and UMass, Massarelli leads the Bobcats with six points (three goals), while Tegtmeier is right behind her with three points (all assists).


Game of the Week: Women’s Tennis, Quinnipiac Invitational (Friday, Sept. 8 – Sunday, Sept. 10)

If you want to make the trip to Storrs, I would recommend checking out the women’s tennis program open up its fall season. Held at UConn, this tournament is the first chance to see the Bobcats against some local competition. 

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