Photo courtesy of Gator Gymnastics on Twitter @GatorsGym.

Two 10s from Thomas Put Gators Gym into the Regional Final

It was the Trinity Thomas show in Auburn for the second round of the NCAA Regional. The Gators gymnastics senior received two perfect scores as Florida beat out the field and moved to the regional final.

Hot Start for Florida

As the top seed in the meet, Florida took to the floor to open up the night.

The high-flying Gators didn’t disappoint and put together a clinical performance. Thomas led the way with her 15th career 10.0 while the remaining scores that counted towards the team score were all 9.900 and above.

It was a hot start for the Gators who put together a 49.700 on their signature event.

Denver started on vault and the 15 seed Pioneers were definitely feeling the pressure. A 9.425 from Mia Hebnick meant Denver had to count a 9.700. A 49.000 in the first rotation left lots of work to be done in the remaining three events.

Ohio State opened strong with three 9.900s on bars, which launched the Buckeyes into second place.

After competing Wednesday for a spot in Thursday’s meet the Iowa State Cyclones kept it consistent on the beam. The Cyclones earned themselves a 49.150 to sit in third after one rotation.

Slight Stumble

It wasn’t a perfect night for Florida.

The Gators took a slight stumble on the vault when senior Savannah Schoenherr was just short and took a seat on her landing. Her 9.300 meant freshman Bri Edwards, who replaced senior Nya Reed in the lineup for the meet, would have her 9.750 counted.

Florida still managed to put together a 49.100 with Thomas being the lone 9.900.

Despite the mistakes, the Gators maintained their 0.300 lead halfway through the meet.

Standings after two rotations:

  • Florida 98.800
  • Ohio State 98.500
  • Iowa State 98.350
  • Denver 98.325

Put it Away

As if there was any doubt the Gators would win the meet, Florida ran away with the competition in rotation three.

A 49.650 on bars all but secured the first-place finish. Thomas added to her 10.0 collection with her second on the night. Her 10.0 on bars completed a season-slam. Thomas has now received a 10.0 on each apparatus this season.

Back-to-back 9.900s from Denver’s Jessica Hutchinson and Abbie Thompson brought the Pioneers level with Ohio State at 147.625.

Iowa State fell out of serious contention after a 9.325 on vault meant a 9.700 counted.

The Race for Second

One rotation was left for a spot in the next round.

Florida had secured its spot in the finals, but Denver and Ohio State remained in a heated race.

Elexis Edwards gave the Buckeyes a huge push on the vault with a meet-high 9.950. Unfortunately for Ohio State, Denver was led by Hutchinson’s 9.925 and two accompanying 9.900s.

The Pioneers secured their spot in the next round and sent the Buckeyes back to Ohio.

Final Standings:

  • Florida 198.125
  • Denver 197.075
  • Ohio State 196.925
  • Iowa State 196.725

Thomas dominated the competition by winning the vault (10.0), beam (9.975), floor (10.0) and all-around (39.875) titles. Thomas’ all-around score is the highest in the nation this year.

What’s Next?

An action-packed Saturday final will feature the Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats and Denver Pioneers.

The quad meet is scheduled for 6 p.m.

About Christopher Will

Chris Will is a second-year journalism student with a focus in sports and media. Originally from the Fort Lauderdale area, Will is now the beat reporter for Florida Gymnastics and covers all things sports in Gainesville.

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