West York’s Trinity Thomas likely first gymnast in the world to complete rare tumbling pass
LANCASTER, Pa. – A two-and-a-half to a double layout.
“I don’t think anyone in the world has ever tried that (tumbling) pass before,” said Prestige Gymnastics coach Jen Fatta. “A lot of people can’t even do a double layout, it’s a huge skill.”
West York's Trinity Thomas may be the first gymnast in the world to land that rare tumbling pass on floor exercise. And her practice video went viral.
The inspiration for the jawdropping move came from Thomas herself.
"I already did the 2 1/2 double back (bent legs), and I've always wanted to upgrade that," Thomas said. "And I absolutely love double layouts, that's my favorite skill. So I was like, let me try to put it together."
An overachiever in the classroom as well as the gym, the 17-year-old cyber school student was supposed to graduate high school next year with the class of 2019. But Thomas accelerated that plan.
"I decided that my body was not holding up so great, and I've always wanted to do college gymnastics," said Thomas. "So I decided to go a year early and finish up my school."
Since Thomas knew this was going to be her last year of high school, she broke out the bucket list and tried a few other sports -- swimming & diving, and track & field.
"For a long time, I've just done gymnastics and it's been my main focus and still is," Thomas said. "But I decided for my senior year, let me try other things that I've always wanted to but never really got the chance."
In just her first year of diving, Thomas made it all the way to the PIAA state championships, where she finished second.
Her diving form looked a little unconventional because most of her dives were feet-first. However there's a good reason for that.
"For me, it's easier to go in on my feet, obviously, because I land on my feet every day," Thomas explained. "It was a little hard to get used to the dives going in on my head."
Back in the gym, she's preparing for the U.S. National Championships in August, then the World Championships after that. But Thomas admitted it's not too early to think about the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"I'm just trying to stay healthy because I think that's what it mostly comes down to," said Thomas. "Everybody's really good, but whoever's healthy at the right time really helps."
Although she's ready to move on to the next phase of her life at the University of Florida, Thomas will be leaving behind a huge fan club in central Pennsylvania.
"We're going to support her so much," said Jen Fatta, Thomas' coach for the last five years at Prestige Gymnastics in Lancaster. "But we are really going to miss her because she's been such a pleasure to have and to coach. She's a great example, so it's bittersweet."
Thomas competed in her first World Cup event in April, finishing second. The 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships will take place August 16-19 in Boston.