Athletes Baruch Goodman and Ellery Mitchell find success by overcoming adversity

Baruch Goodman (senior) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. April 5th, 2023. Eric Sena/The Occidental

Baruch Goodman

Occidental’s track and field team competed in the SCIAC Multi-Dual April 1 which consisted of Chapman University, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer and Occidental College. Baruch Goodman (sophomore) placed second in the 400-meter dash, and said the team played very well, giving most of the credit to the long sprinting crew.

“Shout out to the long sprinters, specifically Nick Leon. Since freshman year we’ve been pushing each other in all the workouts and races,” Goodman said. “I definitely give [my success] to the crew that I train with and how hard we’ve been working for this.”

Goodman’s 400-meter time was 49.71 seconds, less than a half-second faster than teammate Nick Leon (sophomore), who also ran the 400-meter dash. According to Leon, Goodman has been an extremely driven athlete ever since they met.

“He does not know how to give up, no matter how painful the workout may be,” Leon said. “He brings many outstanding qualities to the team, but I would say his perseverance and dedication to the sport stand out the most.”

Leon said the nature of track and field is inherently individual-focused, but the team puts in the effort to support each other during practice and meets.

“I truly believe that we are the most supportive and energetic team in our conference,” Leon said. “Last season was plagued with injuries. It was a tough transition for the team to start competing again, but we trusted our training and the results came through.”

Goodman said both the men’s and women’s teams performed very well thanks to the intensity of their practices.

“[Practice] started out easy because we’re out of shape and it’s tougher. But for the past three weeks, practice has been higher intensity and longer,” Goodman said.

Practices paid off last week, as 20 personal records (PRs) were set for the men and 28 for the women, according to Goodman.

“48 PRs in one meet is really good,” Goodman said. “As a team I think we’re hitting our stride. The first two months of the season is a lot of grinding and throwing up. Now, it’s finally starting to pay off.”

Ellery Mitchell

Ellery Mitchell (sophomore) led Occidental’s softball team to a 3-2 victory against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps April 2. Mitchell pitched the entire game, finishing with 99 total pitches and 64 strikes through seven innings. According to Mitchell, the rivalry between the two teams grew after losing to Claremont earlier in the week.

“We had lost to them twice and I think everybody on the team knew we could have beat them, but we let their attitude get the best of us,” Mitchell said. “There’s always a little bit of a rivalry because in softball we cheer a lot and get pretty loud.”

Unlike other positions in softball, being a pitcher requires intense concentration throughout the entire game, according to Mitchell.

“I have to be in the game for every pitch, and every pitch I have to strategize and think about what pitch I want to throw next,” Mitchell said. “The other players on the field a waiting for the ball to get hit, they don’t necessarily need to [concentrate] every single pitch.”

Ellery Mitchell (sophomore) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. April 3rd, 2023. Eric Sena/The Occidental

According to Mitchell, there are only three pitchers on the softball team, unlike Claremont, which has six pitchers. Mitchell said the small number of pitchers puts them at a disadvantage, but the pitching staff has done well in helping each other succeed.

“We’re playing teams that can put in a player at any time, and we only have three pitchers,” Mitchell said. “It’s hard to have a pitcher throw one game, let alone back-to-back games, so we have to make sure our pitchers are working together.”

Teammate and fellow pitcher Ariel Lashinsky (junior) said although the pitching staff is shorthanded, Mitchell has stepped up as a player and teammate.

“She’s really hard-working but still keeps it light on the field,” Lashinsky said. “We only have three pitchers, so she is key to what we are trying to do. Three pitchers is less than you would like for a 40-game season.”

Mitchell said the team is gaining confidence quickly, which contributed to her success against Claremont. She said the next game against Whittier College is just as important for the team’s confidence.

“We play Whittier next; I think we have a good chance of beating them. If we beat them, that puts us in a better place for the standings and also believing in our team,” Mitchell said.

Contact Malcom Schiltz at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here