Blugold Hall of Fame
Erika Schmidt (Merkel)
Erika Schmidt Merkel was a Kodak Division III All-American in 1997, one of four players in school history to earn first team honors. During her senior season, she led the Blugolds to the NCAA Division III national championship game where New York University won the title by two points on a last-second shot.
That year, Schmidt Merkel was the Wisconsin Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year and also the scholar-athlete of the year.
Schmidt Merkel was a three-time All-Conference selection and was also named to the conference's five-player All-Defensive team once.
A 6-foot post player, Schmidt Merkel set the school single season scoring record in 1997 with 546 points, which was a 17.6 average. She still shares the school record for games played at 118, becoming a starter as a sophomore.
Her 1,547 career points is third on the school's all-time scoring list behind Hall of Famers Arlene Meinholz and Sue Christiansen and her 960 career rebounds rank second only to Chris Boos. She has three of the school's top nine single season rebound totals and two of the top five blocked shot totals. For her career, she finished with 137 blocked shots and 140 assists while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 70.6 percent from the foul line.
During her four-year career, the Blugolds were 99-19 overall, 55-9 in the WWIAC with two conference championships and two runner-up finishes, and 15-4 in NCAA post-season participation. All four years, the Blugolds were in the NCAA sectional championship game and twice advanced to the final four tournament.
Schmidt Merkel joined Hall of Fame coach Lisa Stone's program after a stellar career at Marshfield Columbus where she helped win a WISAA state volleyball championship and was the conference player of the year once and earned Central Wisconsin Catholic Conference player of the year honors three times in basketball. She still holds the school career records for scoring (1,574) and rebounds (890).
While at Eau Claire, Schmidt Merkel was awarded an NCAA post-graduate scholarship and received her master's in physical therapy from the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minnesota.
Since 1999, she has worked for the Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire as a physical therapist. She is a clinic specialist in vestibular rehabilitation and dizziness and provides wheelchair evaluations for the adult population.
Schmidt Merkel and her husband Rick have two children: Jared, 10, and Mitchell, 7.