LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

At the women’s gymnastics meet between No. 2 University of Florida and host No. 25 Penn State University on Saturday, there will be a noticeable amount of orange and royal blue Gators’ gear in the crowd.

That’s because former West York athlete and Florida sophomore sensation Trinity Thomas makes her return to the area for the first time during her collegiate career at the event.

In addition to her immediate family, Thomas said she anticipates a number of friends and former teammates will be in attendance at Recreation Hall on Penn State’s University Park campus.

“It’s going to be really cool because I actually haven’t had my entire family at one of my meets yet,” Thomas said in a phone interview. “This will be the first one and it’s going to be so cool to be kind of back in my hometown and have a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.”

Stellar sophomore season: Thomas has been one of the top gymnasts in the NCAA this season. She was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Gymnast of the Week for the sixth straight week on Tuesday. It’s the seventh time this year she has received the honor, which broke a school record.

The standout sophomore earned the award after she tied the program record with an all-around total of 39.825. That mark tied her for second in the event in the NCAA this season and helped Florida (9-0) clinch an undefeated SEC record and second consecutive conference title.

“I think we just really buckled down and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,’” Thomas said of her team’s success this season. “Nobody is going to take it away from us. Nobody is going to say, ‘What if I did something different?’ We’re going all for it and we're putting everything in that we’ve got. We’ve just been working so hard, so I’m excited to see how (the) postseason goes.”

Thomas has recorded three perfect 10. scores this season and is ranked in the top 10 in four events: all-around (No. 1), floor exercise (T-No. 1), balance beam (T-No. 2) and uneven bars (No. 5). Thomas is also the lone member of the U.S. Senior National Team also on an NCAA roster in 2020.

An exciting event: As she returns to Pennsylvania to compete for the first time during her collegiate career while achieving tremendous team and personal success, Thomas is ready to perform in front of all the people who have been cheering her on from afar this season.

“I’m really excited for this weekend,” Thomas said. “I think it will be a great meet and a really fun time.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE