Student-Athlete Spotlight: Paige Pelikan, UW-Eau Claire

Each week during the 2022-23 academic year, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) will feature two student-athletes (one male and one female) from one of its eight institutions for a Q&A segment “Student-Athlete Spotlight”. Segments will be posted every Thursday and individuals are selected by the institution. WIAC Student-Athlete Spotlight is presented by Culver’s.

Last name: paige pelikan

Institution: UW-Eau Claire

Hometown (High School): New Berlin, Wis. (New Berlin West High School)

Year at school: 5th year

Sport: Women’s swimming and diving

Majors: Accounting, Information Systems and French

Minor: Finance

Why did you choose UW-Eau Claire?
I initially chose UW-Eau Claire because I wanted to pursue an actuarial degree and swim in college. UW-Eau Claire was one of the few schools in the Midwest at the time where both were a possibility for me. I fell in love with the campus and the support of UW-Eau Claire to help you pursue whatever interests you.

What other clubs/organizations on campus are you involved with?
I am currently the president of the Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter of UW-Eau Claire; Zeta Omicron. BAP is a business honors organization for students and financial reporting professionals that is available to students attending universities accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In addition, this organization aims to give students a better set of skills related to ethical, professional and social responsibilities related to the business world.

What causes are you concerned about?
I care about giving back to the local community and helping others in any way I can.

What do you enjoy most about participating in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and being an NCAA Division III student-athlete?
I love competing in WIAC because it’s fun to compete against other schools in Wisconsin. We all live in Wisconsin for school, so all WIAC athletes get along well and share a lot in common. I love being a Division III athlete because it allows me to balance school and sports equally. Also, I don’t have to sacrifice one over the other.

What’s your favorite…

Culver’s menu item? Fries!

Flavor of the day at Culver’s? Unfortunately, I’m lactose intolerant, so I can’t enjoy their amazing flavors. But I love their lemon ice cream in the summer!

Non-sporting place on campus? Our library

Film? Pirates of the Caribbean Series

Vacation? Christmas

Food? Giant Soft Pretzels

Band/Artist? Greta VanFlotte

Athlete/professional sports team? Simone Manuel

Holiday destination? Mercier, Wis.

What is your greatest sporting moment?
I pulled out my first year of swimming to treat painful shoulder injuries that had worsened from the intensity of college training. I’m a distance swimmer, so we tend to have some of the toughest workouts and sets. In my spare time, I focused on strengthening all the muscles around my shoulder, which helped her recover a lot. My senior season last year didn’t go exactly as I had hoped due to my lack of swimming. Therefore, last summer I took it upon myself to swim and lift weights over the summer to prepare for my final season of 5th grade. Luckily, the training I went through last summer gave me my most successful season to date. Although it was difficult to take a break, I am grateful that I took one so that I could continue to push myself and train harder today.

What is your favorite activity off the pitch with your teammates?
Eating with our cafeteria team during the winter holidays is like having a big family lunch and dinner.

One word that describes your team?

One word that describes you?

What is your dream job?
Data scientist and Airbnb host on the side.

Three things on your bucket list?
—Visit France.
—Visit Italy.
—Visit Ireland.

A non-athletic talent you have is?
I play the viola.

Do you have any pre-match/pre-event superstitions or rituals? If that’s true, what are they?
Before each of my races, I always go to the locker room where it’s quiet to stretch, warm up and visualize my race.

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