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<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6dc20774-7fff-7c88-f4bd-deaa7b02bd69">UF gymnast Trinity Thomas performs her beam routine against Missouri on Jan. 11. She scored a 9.850 for her performance.</span></p>

UF gymnast Trinity Thomas performs her beam routine against Missouri on Jan. 11. She scored a 9.850 for her performance.

The Florida gymnastics team remains unconquered after a convincing win over the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats.

Things are looking up for the Gators as they prepare for what could be their biggest match of the year against No. 1 Oklahoma on its home match in Norman, Oklahoma, after a historic bar routine and some impressive floor scores Friday night. The squad has found success in many areas during its first few meets, but as coach Jenny Rowland mentioned after the meet against Kentucky, there is still work to be done for UF.

Here’s one thing the Gators can be happy about from the first three weeks and one thing they’ll need to work on:

Doctrine of Trinity

Freshman Trinity Thomas is on the U.S. National Team, and in these first three weeks, she has shown the collegiate world why.

She has improved from week to week. In her first meet as an all-arounder against Missouri, Thomas earned scores of at least 9.9 in two events, with a 9.950 on the bars and a 9.900 on her floor routine. In her second meet against LSU, she improved from a 39.475 to a 39.650, hitting above the 9.9 mark on three of her four events, this time with a 9.950 on her floor routine.

Her performance this Friday against Kentucky was her best one yet. Her overall score of 39.700 included two 9.925s on the beam and floor, and an exceptional 9.975 that contributed to Florida’s best bar rotation in school history.

According to Thomas, the secret to her success lies within normality.

“Everybody tells me, ‘be normal out there,’ because we do it every day in gym,” she said after the meet. “And so when I went up there, I took a deep breath and just told myself to be normal.”

Although Rowland said that Thomas was still feeling a bit nervous, she made sure to compliment her recent performances after the meet on Friday.

“She’s settling in her own skin. She’s feeling a lot more comfortable,” Rowland said. “I think the thing I enjoy most is seeing how much fun she’s having.”

If Thomas continues the exponential improvement she’s been showing these past three weeks, Florida has a lot to be excited about for both the short and long term.

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The Vault in Their Stars

While the team has performed admirably to start its season, its weakness certainly lies within its vault scores.

For the third week in a row, the team’s vault rotation was its lowest score. It has improved steadily from a paltry 48.925 in UF’s first meet against Missouri, but it took a step back against Kentucky, going from a 49.225 in the LSU meet down to a 49.050. The vault is traditionally either the first or second event the team participates in, so the team’s struggles with the vault often cause a slow start that it has to climb back from.

One gymnast that is particularly struggling is freshman Savannah Schoenherr. She has been the drop score in every vault event this season, and her best score on the year for the event is a 9.750 against LSU. Her other two scores are less than stellar. She had a 9.450 against Missouri after a stumble during her landing, and the Kentucky meet saw her worst score yet with a 9.325 after she failed to land on her feet entirely.

Although Schoenherr has performed well on the bars in every meet so far, she and the rest of the Gators vault team will have to step it up if it plans to compete with the very best in the NCAA Championships come April.

Follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells and contact him at rwells@alligator.org.

UF gymnast Trinity Thomas performs her beam routine against Missouri on Jan. 11. She scored a 9.850 for her performance.

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