The #BlackGirlMagic of 2022 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships

For NCAA Women's Gymnastics, the University of Florida's Trinity Thomas is a big deal. The graduating senior holds to continue her streak of perfect 10s at this week's national championships in Fort Worth, Texas. From her flawless Yurchenko 1 1/2 vaults to her sky-high double-layout somersaults on floor exercise, Trinity has mastered the same skills that were popular in the 1990s (before she was born).

If all goes well, Thomas is expected to win gold on floor or with the team competition. Thomas's athleticism excites crowds of all backgrounds, but she's a true role model for young girls who look like her. She exudes a sense of #BlackGirlMagic that makes the sport appear equitable for all. Yet, she stands on the shoulders of her predecessors from collegiate and professional women's gymnastics. The late Dianne Durham (the first black U.S. women's gymnastics champion), Dominique Dawes (the first black women's gymnastics Olympic gold medalist) and Simone Biles (who has so many firsts that we can't name them all).



The Evolution of Black Women In  NCAA Gymnastics

This year marks 40 years since Women's Gymnastics became an official championship sport for the NCAA. Over the course of history, black women were not represented in large numbers. With the exception of Corrine Wright Tarver (the first black gymnast to win a NCAA all-around title)  and Dee Foster Worley (the first black woman to be a scholarship athlete for the Crimson Tide), many NCAA black female gymnasts were overlooked in the past. Thankfully, the historic strides made by black women in professional gymnastics has opened the door for more recognition and expansion of opportunities. (In fact, Fisk University will be the first HBCU to compete in women's gymnastics and they will be coached by Corrine Wright Tarver.) 

Black Women Gymnasts To Watch at Nationals

Trinity's not the only black woman competing at the NCAA championships. In fact, Missouri has the most black female gymnasts competing on one team (5). A full list of all the other talented black female gymnasts is featured below:  

  • Nya Reed (Florida)
  • Sloane Blakely (Florida) 
  • Bri Edwards (Florida) 
  • Alex McGee (Florida) 
  • Sheridan Ramsey (Oklahoma) 
  • Danae Fletcher (Oklahoma) 
  • Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
  • Ananda Brown (Auburn)
  • Aria Brusch (Auburn) 
  • Jada Glenn (Auburn) 
  • Sania Mitchell (Alabama) 
  • Cammy Hall (Utah)
  • Jaedyn Rucker (Utah)
  • Sierra Brooks (Michigan)
  • Naomi Morris (Michigan) 
  • Gabby Wilson (Michigan)
  • Amari Celestine (Missouri)
  • Alonna Kratzer (Missouri) 
  • Amaya Marshall (Missouri)
  • Jocelyn Moore (Missouri)
  • Kalise Newson (Missouri) 
(If there any more we've missed, let us know in the comments)  

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