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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Thomas, DiCello headline Gators’ postseason honors

Five Gators made All-SEC team

Florida freshman Kayla DiCello (left) and graduate student Trinity Thomas (right) hug following the Gators' win at the Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Florida freshman Kayla DiCello (left) and graduate student Trinity Thomas (right) hug following the Gators' win at the Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Florida graduate student Trinity Thomas and freshman Kayla DiCello added to their already impressive 2023 campaigns Wednesday.

Thomas earned the title of Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year, and DiCello was named SEC Freshman of the Year. The Gators’ accolades come less than a week after their SEC title win.

The fifth-year Gator secured the title for the third time in her career. She previously won SEC Gymnast of the Year in 2020 and 2022.

Thomas was recognized with four weekly awards in 2023 — specialist of the week twice and gymnast of the week two times. She earned seven 10s during the season, which brings her career total to 27 — two away from breaking the record for 10s in a collegiate career.

Her most recent appearance saw her earn the nation’s top all-around score of 39.80 in the SEC Championships. She earned 10s on the uneven bars and floor to lead Florida to its 12th SEC Championship win.

Thomas is now one of six finalists for the American Athletic, Inc. Award, which is presented to the top senior student-athlete from National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s gymnastics.

DiCello earned six straight SEC Freshman of the Week honors and eight total in the season. She was also named the Week 2 Specialist of the Week. The freshman became the first gymnast since Thomas in 2019 to earn nine weekly SEC honors.

She was the first of three freshmen to earn a 10 in 2023. Her highest all-around total of 39.75 was second in the nation among freshmen. DiCello also had the highest freshman all-around score in the SEC Championships and the sixth-highest overall in the tournament.

She joined the list of four other freshmen to win All-SEC honors in 2023.

The Gators had five total appearances on the All-SEC team. Sophomores Sloane Blakely and Leanne Wong and junior Victoria Nguyen joined Thomas and DiCello on the team. DiCello also holds a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team.

Florida gymnastics will now head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the NCAA Regionals. 

The No. 2 Gators will begin action March 31 and join a nine-team pool, including No. 7 California, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 15 Arizona State, No. 24 Maryland, No. 26 Western Michigan, No. 29 West Virginia, No. 31 Towson and No. 32 Penn State.

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Contact Kyle Bumpers at kbumpers@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @BumpersKyle.

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Kyle Bumpers

Kyle Bumpers is a fourth-year journalism major and the sports editor of The Alligator. In his free time, he cries about Russell Wilson and writes an outrageous amount of movie reviews on Letterboxd.


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