One of the most courageous performances at the 2004 Canadian Nationals came from Erin Scherrer, who won the bronze in junior ladies. Scherrer was injured in the practice session just before the junior ladies short program and received nine stitches to sew up the gash in her foot. “I stabbed the blade right through my boot on a jump just a few hours before the short,” she said. “My landing foot was really bruised and we thought we would have to cut out part of my boot to get it on if it swelled too much. The program was pretty hard on my foot, but we didn’t have to make any changes in it.”
Scherrer finished third in the short, then went on to land a triple salchow, triple toe, triple toe-double toe, double Axel, double flip and double lutz in the free skate. With her third-place finish, Scherrer met her goal of being in the top five and making the Junior National Team. “For my first year in juniors, I thought top eight would be nice and top five great,” she said. “Being on the podium was more than I hoped for.” Last season, Scherrer was second in novice ladies and won the North American Challenge Skate at Thornhill. She hopes to eventually become Canadian champion and compete at Worlds. “I plan to skate for as long as I keep doing well,” she noted.
The tall 16-year-old began skating when she was four. “My dad put me in the program to be a hockey player,” she said. “He was a hockey player and coach. He didn’t want me to be the kid who couldn’t skate when we went on school field trips. I used to do ballet at the same time, until I was nine or ten. But I didn’t have the desire to be an ice dancer and I’m too tall for pairs. I’m just a long tall stick.” She landed her first triple jump, a salchow, when she was 14, but said that the triple toe loop was her best jump. “I prefer toe jumps and since the toe loop is my best jump, I prefer it over anything else,” she said. “I use a triple toe-double toe combination in my long program.”
Scherrer trains in Kitchener-Waterloo with Dianne Rouleau and Kimberly Biddiscombe. She works on ice for three hours a day, five days a week, and does ballet twice a week as well as off ice conditioning. She used to play volleyball for her school team but quit due to the risk of injury. For next season, Scherrer noted that she needs a good triple flip and a triple lutz. She plans to work on mastering the more difficult triples.
David Wilson choreographed Scherrer’s programs, which included Jalousie for the short and music from the soundtrack of The Color Purple for the long. “We saw a specialized person, Lenore Kay, who looks at you and watches how you skate and decides what music would look good as you grow as a skater,” Scherrer explained. “I don’t have any special kinds of music that I like to use. Sometimes I keep the programs and sometimes I don’t. This year, they were both new. It was a long season last year and the programs got boring after a while. Now I’m working on a new show program.” Off ice, Scherrer listens to “whatever’s on in the rink.”
Scherrer is an eleventh grade student in public school, where her favorite subject is math. “I’m not taking a full course load,” she said. “It’s adjusted for my skating schedule. I plan on going on to the university but I have no idea of what I want to be. I’ve thought about coaching, but there are so many changing things in the sport now.”
To relax, Scherrer said, “I read a lot. I’m big on murder mystery books and anything I can get through quickly. I like to go out with my friends from school and I keep all my room keys, badges, and starting orders from my competitions. As for the stuffed animals, I keep the special ones and donate the others to the hospital where my grandmother works as a volunteer. My real fetish is shoes. I brought six pairs to Edmonton and I bought another pair. Now I can’t wear any of them because of my foot.”
“I’ve liked all the places that skating’s taken me,” she continued. “I get to do a lot more than the average 16-year-old. And I’ve met a lot of new friends around the world. The computer is my social life now, chatting with friends I’ve met at the competitions.”
As for role models, Scherrer said, “Every young lady in skating would look up to any of the American girls. You notice that they all have that flair.”