AthElites: Gretchen Bachmeier


AthElites is a recurring column for fall semester. Every week, I find the best athletes on campus and give them a high-five and brownie points ­— as well as a Q&A session — for their hard work!



This week’s AthElite is Eau Claire native and junior Gretchen Bachmeier. Her stellar performance — as well as positive attitude — in a tennis match earlier this month gave her the nod. Because of this awesomeness and (ath)elite status, I sat down with Bachmeier outside of the library and talked tennis, as well as some other things! -Emily Gresbrink




Emily Gresbrink: Congratulations on being the first AthElite of the week!


Gretchen Bachmeier: Oh, thank you!




EG: So what exactly got you into tennis?


GB: My mom played tennis for the university actually — so her background in tennis got me into lessons when I was little and I never really played competitively when I was younger. It wasn’t until I knew I wanted to play in high school that I started taking more private lessons.




EG: Neat! So did your mom influence you to come here or did you choose to come to UW-Eau Claire on your own?


GB:  I came here for my own reasons. I’m from Eau Claire, so I never thought I’d go (here). But when I finished my last match of my senior year, it just didn’t feel like I was done and that I couldn’t stop (playing tennis). My old coach encouraged me to try out for the team and I ended up loving the campus. But yeah, it was for my own reasons.




EG: How do you keep a good attitude and athleticism going on the court at the same time?


GB: Good question — I’m a very competitive person by nature and a little bit of a perfectionist, so keeping a calm attitude on the court is something I’ve worked on and still work on. What helps me is that I’ve seen when I play really calmly and what happens; I’ve seen what happens when I play stiff … our coach emphasizes that he wants us to remain really level headed and not focus on the score or winning, but focus on the points and how we’re playing




EG: What do you think makes someone an AthElite?


GB:  I think that you have to be a well-rounded person. Your sport does not come before everything else — I think school, family and friends should be your priorities and concerns in life. But your sport is something you do for fun — you keep that in mind while you’re on the court that there are bigger things in the world.

EG: You are now allowed to have one narcissistic moment: do you think you meet that definition?


GB: Oh, shoot! (laughs) I think I try hard to. I


like competing in tennis, but it’s not everything in my life. So, sure. Well, I hope so – I hope people see that I do try.

EG: Last question – what’s your favorite color and why?


GB: Purple, because it’s always been my favorite color. It makes me feel good when I see things that are purple!