Noah Winnick (Junior) is a textbook example of a jock: a thrower for the Occidental track and field team and a former football player. However, his passion for throwing is overshadowed by something entirely different—singing.
Winnick is well aware that he has an unusual combination of interests.
“You don’t expect a big guy walking around with a shot-put to go sing,” Winnick said. “But throwing and singing are my two passions; they’re what I love.”
Winnick started throwing his first year of high school, originally competing in the shot-put and discus events. He quickly found an appreciation for the sport.
“Throwing is extremely old-style, it’s been around forever,” Winnick said. “It’s very technical mixed with a lot of power, and I love that.”
Winnick saw Occidental as an ideal environment to pursue both academics and throwing. Winnick’s high school coaches suggested he also play on Occidental’s football team, but after attending summer preseason camps, Winnick decided to spend his time elsewhere.
“Organized football is not my thing,” Winnick said. “I’m decently sized, but I could never wrap my head around the sport.”
Instead, Winnick returned to what he knew. He continued to throw discus and shot-put and also added the hammer and javelin to his repertoire. In his first season, Winnick put up personal bests in all of his throwing events before improving on those marks again the following year. Winnick has already won one event this season—the men’s hammer throw at the Pomona-Pitzer dual meet.
Strength and conditioning coach Ricky Lang credits Winnick’s success to his diligence.
“Noah’s attitude towards training in both throwing and the weight room is top-notch,” Lang said. “He continues to impress not only our team, but other SCIAC competitors as well.”
When not on the field or in the weight room, Winnick throws himself into singing. He joined Cadence, the all-male a cappella group, in his first year and the Glee Club at the beginning of this year.
Winnick has always had a passion for singing. He started practicing at age five, took formal voice lessons in eighth grade and participated in both musical theater and choir in high school. Winnick says singing groups have always provided him with a social niche.
“Singing is where I’ve always found my friends,” Winnick said. “It’s where I feel most comfortable.”
Winnick has become a leader in Cadence, and he hopes to direct the group his senior year. Fellow member Alton Luke (first-year) greatly appreciates what Winnick brings to the table.
“Noah is a perfect mixture of a class clown and a dedicated leader with great talent, which allows the group to reach its full potential,” Luke said. “He will be a great Cadence director next year.”
In addition to singing and throwing, Winnick works at the daycare center on campus. Through spending time there, he has discovered a new-found love for working with children. A psychology major, he hopes to ultimately enter into the clinical counseling field with hopes of helping families.
Between track and field, two choir groups, work at the day care and psychology research, Winnick has very little time to relax. When he can find a spare moment, Winnick enjoys hanging out with his friends, playing pick-up basketball or writing music.