GAINESVILLE, Fla. – York County's Trinity Thomas enjoyed the best night of her college career for the Florida Gators on Friday.
The former West York High School athlete recorded her first perfect 10 in an individual college event. She also won two individual events and the all-around title, helping the No. 2 Gators beat No. 8 Louisiana State in a key Southeastern Conference meet in front of a sellout crowd of more than 9,000 fans in Gainesville.
With a large assist from the sophomore standout, the Gators' 198.375 is the nation's leader in the first month of the 2020 season and the third-highest total in school history. LSU also turned in its season-best of 197.775 Friday.
Friday's meet brought together the two teams claiming 2019 Southeastern Conference team titles. Florida won its first SEC regular-season title after posting a 6-1 record. The Tigers claimed the SEC Championship meet title in New Orleans.
Thomas, the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019, recorded her 10.0 on the uneven bars to win the event. It also earned her the No. 1 spot on ESPN's Top 10 for Friday.
"I knew it was really good, and when I landed my teammates ran so fast – almost knocked me over – and I was like 'OK, maybe it was really good.' But I was really excited about it and they were so sweet. It was great," Thomas said on the Florida website.
"I was super excited, but I think my teammates were even more excited than me. I was like 'let's get to beam, let's finish this meet, let's go.' It was easy for me to celebrate and then be like 'OK next event.' It was good."
Thomas was also close to perfection again on floor exercise with her winning mark of 9.975. She shared the floor title with LSU's Kiya Johnson.
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In a meet featuring the last two athletes to claim the SEC Gymnast of the Week honors, it was Thomas edging Johnson for the all-around title. Thomas' total of 39.775 sets her collegiate best and is the nation's third-highest total of 2020. Johnson's total of 39.725 is tied for the nation's sixth-highest of the season.
Thomas also tied for fourth in the vault (9.9) and tied for sixth in the balance beam (9.9).
Thomas credited the raucous crowd with helping the Gators perform to the best of their ability.
"This crowd really brought it tonight. When they said my name before I went up on an event it was like the O'Dome was shaking, it was so cool," Thomas said on the UF website. "That got me really excited, really pumped up … I think we thrive in this type of environment and I think we thrived tonight. We did an amazing job and I can't wait for next weekend."
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.