Release  Cam Fuller · @ ·

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—Milwaukee cross country and track standout and Miss Wisconsin Paula Kuiper advanced past the lifestyle round at the 2014 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sunday.

Kuiper survived the first round of cuts when the field was narrowed from 53 to 15. After the lifestyle round was complete, the Racine native was the second-to-last contestant announced into the field of 12.

The judges went on to select the top-10 one-by-one with the contestants performing their talent immediately after their name was announced. However, the Panther student-athlete’s name wasn’t announced, meaning her night would end in the semifinals.

Kuiper was the winner of the Miss Racine Pageant in 2012 and the Miss Madison/Capital City Pageant in 2013. She went on to win the 2013 Miss Wisconsin Pageant on June 22, punching her ticket to the 2014 Miss America Pageant.

Kuiper was a freshman at Milwaukee this past year, competing in five cross country races, finishing in the top seven twice. She went on to redshirt in the track season to preserve her freshman eligibility in the sport.

Now that the Miss America Pageant is over, Kuiper will spend the year traveling the state to promote her platform, Breaking the Age Barrier. Her platform works with Alzheimer's patients taking them out of nursing homes and into the community.

Kuiper has left school to fulfill her Miss Wisconsin and Miss America obligations, but plans to return to school and athletics in 2014-15.

For those unable to tune in, Miss New York Nina Davuluri of Syracuse was crowned Miss America 2014.

Tags: Milwaukee - Cross Country
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