Amy Christiansen Palmer Athlete Profile

Amy Christiansen Palmer

Amy Christiansen Palmer
Position: Throws Height: 5-11 Roster Years: 1994-1998 Hometown: Grantsville, UT Hall of Fame: 2008

  • 2008 Women's Track & Field




All-America

  • 1994 USTFCA Shot Put (Outdoor)
  • 1995 USTFCA Shot Put (Indoor)
  • 1995 USTFCA Shot Put (Outdoor)
  • 1996 USTFCA Shot Put (Indoor)
  • 1996 USTFCA Shot Put (Outdoor)
  • 1996 USTFCA 20 lb. Weight (Indoor)
  • 1998 USTFCA Hammer Throw (Outdoor)
  • 1998 USTFCA Shot Put (Indoor)
  • 1998 USTFCA Shot Put (Outdoor)
  • 1998 USTFCA 20 lb. Weight (Indoor)
 

2008 Hall of Fame Inductee

The term "natural athlete" is the only way to describe Amy Palmer. Looking at her list of accolades, it would seem unlikely that she wasn't training from her childhood like most Olympians. She would seem the type to put her sport first and everything else second. But Palmer couldn't be any farther from the expected.

Growing up in Granstville, Utah, Palmer had no idea that track was anything more than running, let alone the key to her future. As a freshman in high school, a family friend suggested she try throwing events, something she had never even heard of. It was then that she realized she had strength she never knew and ended up winning 10 Utah state titles and a scholarship to BYU.

Her first few years at BYU, Palmer focused on the shot put but also cross-trained with the javelin and discus. Those years she won the Western Athletic Conference shot put three times, placed eighth and fifth in the NCAA shot put, won the USA Junior shot put, placed 11th in the World Junior shot put, placed sixth in the shot put at USA Outdoors and was ranked No. 6 in the U.S. in shot put by Track & Field News.

Then a few things changed. She started training with hammer specialist Tapio Kuusela, a volunteer coach at BYU who spent most of his extra time working with Palmer on her new event, the hammer throw. She also married her high school sweetheart and kindergarten playmate, Rick Palmer. People worried that she would lose her career opportunities with these changes, but again she proved that expectations aren't everything. She put family first and still excelled in athletics.

During her last few years at BYU, she continued to win WAC shot put titles and also became nationally and internationally ranked in the hammer throw. She placed second in the NCAA hammer throw, second in the USA Outdoors hammer throw, third in the Commonwealth Games hammer throw and was ranked first nationally and fourth internationally in the hammer throw by Track & Field News.

The year she got married, Palmer set the American record in the hammer throw and placed second at the Goodwill Games. She graduated from BYU and had two things on her mind: a family and the Olympics.

In 2000, she placed second at the Olympic trials in Sacramento and went on to compete in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, where she placed eighth. She later carried the Olympic torch, was named the Tooele County Citizen of the Year in 2000 and 2001 and again competed in the Olympic Trials in 2004.

Palmer pursued her dream of having a family as well, which was just as dear to her as her dream of going to the Olympics. She now has three daughters - Reghan, Tailor and Kennedie - and spends her time training her girls and volunteering at local elementary schools and speaking engagements.

Personal

  • Majored in recreational management at BYU
  • Married with three daughters

Career Highlights

  • Three-Time NCAA Indoor All-American: 1995 (Shot Put), 1996 (Shot Put, Weight Throw), 1997 (Shot Put, Weight Throw)
  • Four-Time NCAA Outdoor All-American: 1994 (Shot Put), 1995 (Shot Put), 1996 (Shot Put), 1998 (Hammer Throw, Shot Put)
  • All-WAC indoors for taking first in the shot put (school record 55-7) and 20-lb weight throw (school record 65-9.75) her junior year
  • All-WAC Outdoors by taking first in the shot put (school record 55-11) and hammer throw (185-4) her junior year
  • All-WAC indoors by taking first in both the 20-lb weight throw (52-6.25) and the shot put (50-8) her sophomore year
  • All-WAC outdoors for first in the shot put (52-4) and second in the hammer (163-7) her sophomore year

Before BYU

  • Was the 1990 Utah State Champion in the javelin and discus
  • 1992 Utah State Champion in the shot put and javelin
  • 1993 State Champion in the shot put, javelin and discus

After BYU

  • Went to the Olympic trials in Sacramento 2000
  • Competed in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia 2000
  • Carried the Olympic torch
  • Competed in the 2004 Olympic trials
  • Now spends her time training her girls and volunteering at local elementary schools

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Placed second at the Olympic trials in Sacramento 2000
  • Placed eighth in the Sydney Olympic Games
  • Named Tooele County Citizen of the Year in 2000 and 2001
  • Inducted into the BYU hall of fame in 2008


1994 | Freshman Year

  • All-WAC indoors for second in shot put
  • All-WAC outdoors for first in shot put
  • All-America
  • Eighth in the shot put (50-4.50) at the NCAA outdoor championships
  • Won shot put title in USA Canada track meet and at the USA Junior Nationals to qualify for the USA Junior Team
  • Finished 11th overall at world juniors in Lisbon, Portugal

1995 | Sophomore Year

  • All-WAC indoors by taking first in both the 20-lb weight throw (52-6.25) and the shot put (50-8)
  • All-WAC outdoors for first in the shot put (52-4) and second in the hammer (163-7)
  • All-America for fifth in the shot put (52-4) at the NCAA Indoors and fifth in the shot put (53-7.50) at the NCAA Outdoors
  • Placed sixth in the shot put (51-7.75) at USA-Mobil Track and Field Championships to qualify for the USA National Track and Field Team

1996 | Junior Year

  • All-WAC indoors for taking first in the shot put (school record 55-7) and 20-lb weight throw (school record 65-9.75)
  • Weight throw was one of top three in nation
  • WAC Indoor Championships Performer of the Meet
  • Third at NCAA Indoor Championships in the 20-lb weight (61-11.50)
  • Fourth in the shot put (54-11)
  • All-American
  • All-WAC Outdoors by taking first in the shot put (school record 55-11) and hammer throw (185-4)
  • Fourth at NCAA Outdoor Championships in the shot put (55-3.5)
  •  All-American in the shot put
  • Finished fifth at the US Olympic Trials (57-7)

1997 | Redshirt Year

Redshirted indoor/outdoor seasons

1998 | Senior Year

  • WAC indoor champion in weight throw and second in shot put
  • NCAA Outdoor All-American in hammer throw and shot put