Jenny Ester (USA)

Ester at the 1989 World Sports Fair
Photo used with the expressed permission of OEFC

1986 Children's American Classic: 7th AA (tie)
1987 US Olympic Festival: 12th AA
1987 Junior American Classic: 8th AA
1987 Junior US Nationals: 13th AA
1988 Junior American Classic: 1st AA
1988 Junior US Nationals: 5th AA
1989 American Classic: 3rd AA
1989 US Nationals: 4th AA, 6th FX
1989 US World Team Trials
1989 World Championships (reserve)
1989 World Sports Fair
1989 Blume International: 7th AA
1990 US Olympic Festival: 13th AA
1990 US Nationals: 21st AA

Results courtesy of Gymn Forum and Flying Squirrels back issues

Jenny Ester was born on July 18, 1974 and trained at LaFleur's for the first part of her elite career. During this time she earned a number of promising placements in junior National competitions: 1987 US Olympic Festival (12th AA), 1987 Junior American Classic (8th AA), etc. In 1988 Jenny moved to Gym Country to work under Kristy Krafft. She placed first at the Junior American Classic that year, qualifying herself to Junior US Nationals where she placed 5th all-around.

Jenny moved up to the senior ranks in 1989, placing fourth all-around and sixth on floor exercise. This all-around performance earned Jenny an invitation to the 1989 US World Team Trials, where her performance earned her the spot of alternate.

Jenny competed at two major internationals that same year, the World Sports Fair in Japan and the Blume Memorial (7th AA).

In 1990 Jenny competed in the US Olympic Festival, but finished a disappointing 21st AA. Shortly after this meet she sustained a serious back injury. Her vertebrae needed to be fused, and it was nearly two years before she was able to compete again. Rather than coming back to elite competition, Jenny competed Level 9 and set her sights on college. She also began working with the USGF to produce a demonstrative video tape.

Jenny began competing for the Arizona State University Sun Devils. In 1993 she earned All-American honours on the uneven bars. She earned the school's first perfect score on bars that year, a record that was only matched in February 2001 by Sun Devils Laura Moon. For her junior year she transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where she majored in health and sport science.

Ester at the 2000 US Classic in Tulsa, OK
Image used with the expressed permission of Larry Fewell

In August 1998 she married Garon Rowland, a former Oklahoma gymnast turned law student. Jenny now goes by the name Jenny Ester Rowland. She is currently a coach at Bart Connor's Academy, and during this coaching tenure guided Angela Beam onto the US National team. In 1999 she served as athlete representative on USAG's women's technical committee. She occasionally provides "expert" testimony for IG online (e.g., she explained how the improperly set vault in Sydney had such ill effects on the gymnasts).

Jenny is also known for her role in the 1986 movie American Anthem, about a gymnast (played by 1984 US Olympian Mitch Gaylord) who is inspired by a girl (played by actress Janet Jones) to resume training and set his sights on the US Olympic Trials. Jenny played the part of Tracy Prescott.

Jenny now works as an assistant women's coach at the University of Oklahoma.

. This page was created on June 3, 2000.


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