Thomas, NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee in 2022

22 hours ago
SEC staff

Photo: Georgia Athletics / Florida Athletics

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 25, 2022) – Two student-athletes from the Southeast Conference were among 53 Division I candidates selected by the conference offices for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Awards.

Trinity Thomas of Florida, a member of the Gators gymnastics program, and Samantha Drop of Georgia, who competed in cross country/indoor and outdoor track and field for the Bulldogs, represented the SEC in the pool of Division I contenders.

Established in 1991, the NCAA’s Woman of the Year Award recognizes female student-athletes who have reached their full potential and stand out in their communities, in their sports and academics throughout their college careers. With 2022 marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the NCAA’s Woman of the Year program is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the impact women have had on interscholastic sports.

The Woman of the Year selection committee will select 10 student-athletes from each division, which will determine the 30 honorees. Out of the top 30, the Woman of the Year Selection Committee will announce nine finalists, three from each of the NCAA’s divisions. The NCAA Women’s Athletics Committee will review the finalists and name them the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year. For the first time in the awards’ history, the top 30 honorees will honored and Woman of the Year will be named at the NCAA Convention, which takes place in January 2023 in San Antonio.

Thomas graduated with distinction this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied physiology and kinetics. She is the recipient of the 2022 Honda Sports Awards in gymnastics, presented annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) to the top female athletes in 12 NCAA-recognized sports. At the 2022 NCAA Gymnastics Championships, Thomas won the national title in the uneven barbell and barbell exercises and won a share of the title for the uneven barbell exercises. She became the 10th student-athlete in the championship’s 40-year history to win three or more titles in a single NCAA championship. The 27-time American gymnastics champion, Thomas will return to Gainesville to compete for the Gators for the 2023 season while starting a master’s degree in health and behavioral education. She served as Vice Chair of the Black Athletes Advisory Committee and has been involved in many volunteer opportunities, including visiting the local children’s hospital, packing and distributing care packages for the homeless. , and provide new shoes for elementary school students. Thomas is a three-time participant of the All-American Women’s College Gymnastics Association (WCGA). The two-time SEC gymnast of the year was also honored on the SEC Winter Academic Honor List three times and earned a spot on the 2019 freshman SEC Academic Honor List.

Drop graduated with a degree in nutritional science with a minor in animal science and is currently working as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in Athens. She was nominated as Georgia’s female candidate for the 2022 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship. Drop was named the 2020 SEC Female Cross-Country Athlete-Scholar, along with being a member of the All-District CoSIDA Academic Team and a USTFCCCA Academic Individual selection. She won the 2020 Joel Eaves Athlete-Scholar Award for being the highest GPA female UGA student-athlete entering the fall semester of her senior year. Drop advanced to the 2017 NCAA Championship with her twin sister and teammate Jessica and won the all-American title after placing 30th overall. She has won the NCAA Cross Country All-Region title four times, won the 2017 NCAA Southern Region title, and finished in the top eight twice at the SEC Cross Country Championships. As a competitor at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships at 10,000 metres, Drop remains third on the school’s all-time list in the event and owns three other times still on the All-Time Top 10 list. by Lady Bulldogs. During his college career in Georgia, Drop was a Special Olympics Executive Board Member at UGA, and volunteered to coach the Athens-Clark County Special Olympics gymnastics team. She is also a member of the Auction Committees of the American Student Veterinary Medical Association, the Blue Key Association, and Education and Leadership Development (LEAD). Drop served as the group’s representative on the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

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