Athletes of the week Karis Palomino and Jeffery Cambra achieve new milestones

Karis Palomino (junior) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. March 7, 2023. Renee Ye/The Occidental

Karis Palomino

Karis Palomino (junior) is a sprinter who performed excellently at the first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Multi-Dual meet at Pomona Pitzer. Palomino made personal records (PRs) in every single one of her events, which includes the 4×400 relay, the 4×100 relay and the pole vault.

According to Palomino, she achieved a lifetime PR in the 4×400 relay, which requires a collegiate athlete to break a PR they had set back in high school.

“My PR in high school [for the 4×400 relay] was 62.8-ish, and last season, I never even got close to running that time. But on Saturday, I beat that PR,” Palomino said. “That one felt good. I felt like I was back, in a way.”

According to Palomino said she has also become involved in pole vaulting, an event with only one other athlete.

“I started with pole vault on Saturday and PR-ed by almost eight inches,” Palomino said. “This year, I’m kind of relearning how to vault because it’s been for almost four or five years since I’ve competitively vaulted.”

According to Dave Foley, the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the cross country and track teams, Palomino’s results are only the product of her incredible hard work and drive.

“I think Karis has had an excellent spring season as a whole, because she worked so hard in the fall. She really set herself up to be successful,” Foley said.

Tyler Yamaguchi, the sprint coach for track and field, describes how Palomino brings energy and determination to the group as a teammate.

“I mean, she’s definitely an incredibly hard worker and sets an example in that way. It’s great because you always have very vocal leaders. Karis is not one of those, she’s a lead by example type of person, always wants to do more,” Yamaguchi said.

Foley also said Palomino has the ability to lead by example and motivates her teammates with her performance.

“The way that she carries herself, it’s sort of like she like gives folks permission, in a sense, to set the example for other people to find success, which is great,” Foley said.

When asked about her goal for the rest of the season, Palomino said she wants to run her 400-meter race sub-60, or under a minute.

“I’m really working towards that. I’ve been working really hard since summer, for this season,” Palomino said. “I’m just really excited for the rest of the season and just seeing both myself and my teammates get faster.”

Yamaguchi agrees with Palomino that the season is not over yet and there are many more opportunities for improvement.

“The fruits of her labor are expressing themselves in the form of personal bests and great performances,” Yamaguchi said. “So yeah, she’s not done. She’s gonna keep improving.”

Jeffery Cambra

Jeffery Cambra (Sophomore) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. March 8th, 2023. Renee Ye/The Occidental

Jeffery Cambra (sophomore) made his presence felt in Occidental men’s baseball’s recent competitions against the University of Rochester (New York) March 3 and 4. Cambra scored in the 1st inning in the second game and the 6th inning in the third game.

In this series, Cambra said he hit his first home run at Occidental and also mentioned other achievements like walking three times, having three hits, scoring two runs and having six put-outs in the outfield.

“I didn’t have a lot of walks before this series, which is good. I got on base a lot. And I caught a lot of balls in the outfield made a lot of plays there,” Cambra said.

While the Tigers might not have pulled off a victory in each game, Cambra said this recent series has been important not only on his individual level but for the team as a whole.

“We were just really competitive. We really played better as a team together and really understood the process that we have been working through the past couple of weeks,” Cambra said.

Cambra said he feels his success from this season comes from feeling more relaxed and enjoying the game as he’s playing.

“I was just able to take a deep breath and just relax and understand that I’m doing this for fun,” Cambra said.

As Cambra is a Spring transfer student, he said that baseball was a significant part of his decision to choose Occidental.

“One of the main reasons why I came to Occidental was the opportunity to play baseball and be with this group of guys,” Cambra said.

According to Cambra, transferring schools from Lawrence University in Wisconsin was a big change, but touring Occidental and meeting the team over the summer helped solidify his decision.

“It’s definitely an adjustment. I didn’t really have as much time to prove myself as a player that I was. But at the same time, there’s nothing new to me,” Cambra said.

When asked about the baseball team as a community, Cambra said the team has been a great support system for him as a new student on campus.

“The guys definitely welcomed me, and were super supportive, did everything they could to make sure that I’m part of a good group of guys and that I’m comfortable,” Cambra said.

Senior teammate Tom Stoodt said how Cambra’s presence has added to the team’s chemistry this year.

“It’s been fun for me to watch Jeff come into his own and kind of grow with our team and go through the transfer process, and I really enjoyed that,” Stoodt said.

According to Stoodt, he was able to better understand Cambra’s experience as a transfer student himself.

“It’s his first semester here. But it’s been fun to kind of watch him come into his own a little bit. I think it’s hard to transfer in because it’s something that I went through myself,” Stoodt said.

As for future goals, Cambra said that the team is the priority for the rest of the season, not necessarily future opponents.

“I think, for the rest of the season, just to take one game one series at a time, and just not really look too much in the future about who we’re playing,” Cambra said.

According to Cambra, the team is not necessarily focused on the wins but on approaching the rest of the season with a positive mindset.

“Because at the end of the day, you know, it [all] doesn’t really matter a whole lot,” Cambra said. “It’s just, we’re playing against ourselves. So just one game, one series at a time.”

Contact Sela Dingpontsawa at


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