Despite injury, Trinity Thomas has another 10.0, helps Florida qualify for NCAA team event
Even with an injured ankle, Trinity Thomas can still achieve perfection.
The former West York High School athlete recorded a 10.0 score Friday on the uneven bars during a regional qualifier in Athens, Georgia. She helped her top-ranked Florida team reach the NCAA Division I Team Gymnastics Championships, which will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 16-17.
The perfect score was Thomas' fourth 10.0 of the season and eighth in the past two years. She was only able to participate on the uneven bars while recovering from an ankle injury she suffered during warm-ups for the same event early in March.
"I almost cried, I don't know why, but I think because (uneven bars) is the only thing that I've been training, and I just want to do as good as I can for my team," Thomas told floridagators.com. "I'm used to doing all the events, so when I'm only doing one, I (feel) like I (have) to do it right, so (I was) just super excited to do my thing."
Florida (197.70) achieved the highest team total at its NCAA regional qualifier and advanced along with Minnesota (197.425). Of the eight teams to reach the NCAA D-I Team Championships, the Gators rank No. 6 in team scoring after the regional round.
Oklahoma took the top spot with a 198.175 score. Florida was the No. 1 team in the NCAA throughout the regular season and posted an NCAA season-high 198.275 score on Feb. 26, which was Thomas' last event before being injured.
Thomas recorded two perfect 10.0 scores during the Feb. 26 meet and helped the Gators clinch the Southeastern Conference regular-season title. Without Thomas able to perform in each event as usual, Florida lost the SEC Tournament Championship to Alabama.
Despite the injury, Thomas was the only NCAA gymnast to recently earn the maximum five All-America honors. Thomas received first-team recognition in all-around, vault, balance beam and floor, and earned second-team honors in uneven bars.
Because of her limited availability during the regional round, Thomas didn't qualify for any of the NCAA D-I Individual Championships being held during the event in Texas later this month.
Earlier this year, Thomas stated her goal was to win the NCAA team title, qualify for Team USA and compete in Tokyo at the Summer Olympics. She had been incorporating elite gymnastics moves into her NCAA routines to prepare for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June. Thomas has been a U.S. National Team member since 2016.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.