Trinity Thomas wins 3 NCAA individual gymnastics titles, including the all-around crown
Trinity Thomas claimed not one, not two, but three NCAA Division I individual gymnastics championships on Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
The former West York High School athlete won the all-around crown, in addition to the uneven bars and the floor exercise.
The Florida Gators senior had never before won an NCAA crown, seeing her junior season hampered by ankle injuries and her sophomore season ended prematurely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thomas finished with a 39.8125 score in the all-around competition, beating Sunisa Lee of Auburn, who finished at 39.675. Lee won the Olympic all-around crown in 2021 in Tokyo.
“I feel absolutely amazing,” Thomas said. “I’ve been working through this ever since I got to school and just having a few setbacks, you know, I kept fighting. And to finally do it this time is literally a blessing.”
Thomas took the floor exercise title with a perfect 10.0 score. It was the only perfect score of the night and was her 11th perfect score this year, by far the most in the nation.
Thomas didn’t initially know her 10 on floor made her the fourth Gator to win the all-around in the last decade. She was so focused on making sure Florida made it to the team final she didn't really pay attention to where she stood in the overall standings until the meet was over.
“(I asked my teammates) ‘do you know what the all-around was?’ And they were like, ‘No,’ and I was like, ‘Me neither,’” Thomas said with a laugh. “So, I had no clue, actually.”
Thomas eventually turned to fellow senior Savannah Schoenherr, the team’s resident calculator. When Schoenherr informed her longtime teammate it was probably her, Thomas let out a semi-surprised “oh.”
Consider it a testament to Thomas' ability to stay in the moment.
An equipment issue when Florida was on the uneven bars forced Thomas to wait 10 long minutes while it was fixed. She passed the time by cracking jokes. When it was finally her turn to go, she delivered a 9.9750, the best of the night.
“I’m so glad it was Trinity that had to wait,” Florida coach Jenny Rowland said. “If it was going to be somebody, Trinity is great one to be able to shake it off and just go with the flow and step up and raise her game.”
Thomas also scored 9.90 on the vault and 9.9375 on the balance beam. She earned first-team All-America status in all five events.
Thomas also powered the Gators into Saturday’s final in the team event. Florida finished with a 197.975 total to win Thursday’s evening semifinal. Auburn finished second in Thursday night’s action at 197.8375 to also advance.
Missouri was third in the second semifinal while reigning national champion Michigan's bid for a repeat ended after a difficult set on uneven bars.
Earlier in the day, in the afternoon semifinal, Oklahoma reached the finals for the ninth straight time while Utah made it for the fourth time in the last five championships by topping Alabama and Minnesota.
In Saturday's team finals, Florida finished second to Oklahoma. Oklahoma's score of 198.2 was just enough to slip by the Gators (198.075), followed by the Utes (197.750) and the Tigers (197.350).
During the team finals, Thomas put together her 12th perfect routine of the season, a dazzling floor exercise. That wasn't enough, however, to give the Gators the team championship.
“We went out there and we gave it all we had and we did our thing,” Thomas said. “We are still runners up, so I’m super proud of this team.”
— Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ydsports. The Associated Press contributed to this story.