Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
LDS Gymnast Surprises Coach By Getting Married
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 18Mar00 S2
By Jeff Metcalfe: The Arizona Republic
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- Married life is agreeing with the bubbly
Christensen-Cowley, who is competing in the Pac-10 championships.
Christensen married her high school boyfriend Jeremy Cowley on
December 21, just 10 days before her 21st birthday and less than
three weeks before the start of the season. "It was kind of funny to
see the different reactions," she said. "A lot of people were a
little bit hesitant."
Cowley returned one year ago from Ecuador, after serving a mission
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He returned
just in time to share in the 1999 nationals. The 22-year-old Colwley
is working and attending Chandler-Gilbert Community College with
plans to transfer to ASU.
"We could have just lived together for the next two years, but we
both don't believe in that. We've known each other since we were 14
years old and we knew we're compatible, so we just said why not.
Knowing this was going to be a hard season, I'd rather have the
support when I come home."
Christensen began her career at BYU, but was chased home to Tempe by
the cold. "We weren't sure if she really wanted to do gymnastics,"
said ASU Coach John Spini. "She really knew where her air sense
was." When BYU released Christensen from her letter of intent, she
did not have to sit out a transfer year. She became eligible in
Christensen showed her capabilities by being part of the late Stormy
Eaton's Desert Devils elite teams. Her teammates included, Sandy
Woolsey (who went on to Utah), Elisabeth Crandall (BYU), Juliet
Bangerter (BYU), Kim Arnold (Georgia), Angie Leonard (Utah), Tiffany
Simpson (Washington), Amber Erdos (Washington) and Amy Ringo
Christensen-Cowley has set career highs on all of her events, 9.9
vaulting, 9.925 bars and 9.995 floor. Crediting her coach, Bruce
McGehee, Christensen said, "He calmed me down and said you know how
to do this." "Mainly my problem is I'm a powerhouse." "I would have
to barely do anything, and I'd still miss the bars where most people
go as hard as they can and barely make it," she said. "Now I've kind
of figured it out and it's not so nerve-racking."