Another for Trinity: Gators gymnast named Honda Award winner for second year in a row

Ainslie Lee
The Gainesville Sun

When Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas and head coach Jenny Rowland strolled their way up to the doors of Florida's Heavener Football Training Center Tuesday afternoon, Thomas thought she was going for a NIL Summit.

But that wasn't the case.

Fortunately, cameras were there to capture Thomas' reaction as she learned she'd won the 2023 Honda Sports Award, which is given to the top female collegiate athlete from her respective sport.

"Wait, oh my gosh," Thomas said, covering her mouth in disbelief. "I didn't know that."

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The Collegiate Women's Sports Awards (CWSA) announced Thomas as the winner - marking the second season in a row the Gators' star has won the honor.

Tuesday's recognition puts a bow on Thomas' five-year career with Florida, which ended on April 15 at the NCAA Championships, where she and the second-ranked Gators finished second behind No. 1 Oklahoma.

Though Florida didn't find its way to a national title, Thomas did find her way to a perfect 10 from vault, giving her the 28th perfect mark of her college career, tying the NCAA record. Thomas now shares the career 10.0 record with UCLA's Jamie Dantzscher and Kentucky's Jenny Hansen.

In the Honda Award's 47 years of existence, 37 different gymnasts have claimed the honor. Thomas is now one of just nine to win the award multiple times and the sixth to claim it in back-to-back seasons.

A Florida gymnast has claimed the Honda Award in seven of the last 12 seasons.

Thomas has now clinched a spot as a finalist for the the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2023 Honda Cup, which will be presented on June 26 from Los Angeles. The award ceremony will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 9 p.m.