2020 SEC Awards
Although the 2020 gymnastics season was cut short due to COVID-19, the SEC revealed its conference award winners this week. Florida’s Trinity Thomas and head coach, Jenny Rowland, brought home two awards. Thomas won Gymnast of the Year, while Rowland earned her second Coach of the Year award in her first five years at Florida.
— Gators Gymnastics (@GatorsGym) April 28, 2020
The league’s coaches vote on the awards, so it is clear that fellow SEC coaches had a great deal of respect for the 2020 Gators. Missouri’s Helen Hu, LSU’s Kiya Johnson, and Alabama’s Shae Mahoney secured the other league awards; Hu, Johnson, and Mahoney won Specialist, Freshman of the Year, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, respectively.
Due to the shortened season, only 12 gymnasts qualified for the All-SEC team. To put this into perspective, a whopping 34 gymnasts made the team last year. In spite of this, three Gators managed to earn a spot on the team, representing a quarter of the selections. In addition to Trinity Thomas, sophomore Savannah Schoenherr and senior Rachel Gowey both made the cut.
The 2020 season was a remarkable one for Florida to say the least. The Gators went 10-0 and finished the season ranked number two in the nation behind only Oklahoma. Florida won its second straight SEC title thanks to its first undefeated conference season in nearly 30 years. In each of the final event rankings, the Gators finished in the top three. The team ranked number one in beam, number two in floor, and number three in vault and floor.
Florida’s best team total of the season came against LSU with a 198.375. This not only was the third highest score in the nation for the season, but it also ranks third all-time for the Gators. Additionally, Florida broke several individual school records in the 2020 season thanks in large part to the excellence of sophomore Trinity Thomas. Thomas set the school record for three different events: uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. She scored a perfect 10 in each of the events, making her the only gymnast in 2020 to earn a 10 in three different events.