Moravian students have a good chance to meet in Athens as competitors
(though not with each other) in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
Shertzer ’02 has been invited to train with other athletes
who hope to make the team that the United States will enter in the
pentathlon. She’ll spend the next couple of years in the dusty
environs of Fort Sam Houston, outside San Antonio, Texas, building
up to a chance at an Olympic gold medal.
Christina Scherwin ’04, a javelin virtuoso who has spent this
year coming back from a knee injury, still hasn’t matched
her own personal best. But she won the national javelin championship
with a record throw of 169 feet, 7 inches at the NCAA Division III
outdoor track and field meet May 26 at Macalester College, St. Paul,
Scherwin continues on the road to the Olympics, however, she probably
will compete for her native country: Denmark.
event for which Shertzer is a hopeful, formerly called the military
pentathlon, requires entrants to be proficient target shooters,
fencers, swimmers, horseback riders, and runners. An invitation
to train for the pentathlon requires that the athlete already meet
competition standards in four of the five categories, “which
is where I’m at,” Shertzer said. A native of Hummelstown,
Pa., near Hershey, Shertzer is a prize-winning rider and an all-American
runner; and she has qualified for the air pistol and swimming events.
Now she must learn the art of the epée.
a high school rider, Shertzer came to the notice of U.S. Olympic
officials when she competed in an international tetrathlon organized
by the Pony Club, a national association for riders between the
ages of 6 and 21. The American tetrathlon team competed in Ireland,
Scotland, and England in 1996. Shertzer was the top U.S. finisher
and came in ninth overall. Her partner in the pentathlon training
is Sting, a 14-year-old Appaloosa that she’s ridden since
Shertzer graduated in May with a B.S. in biology and a minor in
music. At the NCAA Division III championships in which Scherwin
won the javelin throw, she was the seventh-place finisher in the
world-ranked Scherwin, 25, who stands 5 foot 11 inches and weighs
a slim 145 pounds, comes from the Danish port city of Aarhus. As
a high school student, she set her country’s junior record
in the heptathlon and was ranked sixth in the world, also in the
junior division, for the javelin. She worked for Harman Consumer
International, an American company, and trained after work.
she met Mark Fletcher, at the time an American collegiate javelin
champion, and came to Philadelphia to live with him while he did
his medical residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She
decided to attend Moravian (as a management major) because a Division
III school has no age restrictions.
the 2001 Penn Relays, she landed badly and tore the anterior cruciate
ligament in her right knee. After eight months of rehabilitation,
she reentered the competition circuit. But most sports observers
believe she has held herself back for fear of re-injury. Her throws,
though respectable, are nowhere near the 193 feet, 9 inches she
threw to beat the U.S. champion at an international amateur meet
in 1999. But she has two years to warm up before Athens.