Champion Gymnast Among Club Sports' Successes on National Stage
April 27, 2015
Tommy Trompeter won all-around in all-division collegiate club sports gymnastics at the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs competition in Philadelphia.
A UT Dallas mathematical sciences senior is now the all-around national champion in gymnastics in all-division collegiate club sports gymnastics.
Tommy Trompeter, a senior in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, also ranked first in the nation in both the high bar and the rings at the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs competition in April. Trompeter placed second in the parallel bars at the national event, which was held in Philadelphia.
“It was amazing. After all those hours of practice, to pull it off in my last year was incredible,” Trompeter said.
Besides the Gymnastics Club accomplishments, the UT Dallas Swimming Club and Table Tennis Club also had standout teams in national competitions this spring. The teams are part of the University’s Club Sports program.
Each club sport at UT Dallas is formed, organized, managed and maintained by student leaders. Other teams include bass fishing, bowling, fencing, longboard, martial arts, paintball, rock climbing and rugby.
Chris Gormley, assistant director of competitive and recreational sports, attributes the club sports program’s growth to strong student leadership this year.
“Clubs that grow and succeed are a function of their leadership. Right now, our programs feature some of the strongest student leaders on campus,” Gormley said. “They are organized. They motivate their peers. And as displayed by their competitive success, they are extremely talented.”
The UT Dallas Swimming team placed 45th out of 74 participants at the East Coast Collegiate Swim & Dive Club National Championship in Atlanta.
Trompeter has had a passion for gymnastics since his preschool days. By age 6, he was in competitive events. Trompeter stood out enough to be recruited by several institutions offering gymnastics scholarships, but he chose UT Dallas for its academic excellence.
“I just made the decision that academics were more important. UT Dallas is a great school, and the sports program here is amazing. I really thought I was done with gymnastics. I’m grateful to be able to keep up for a few more years,” Trompeter said.
“I just love pushing myself and finding my physical limits. Growing up, I was always on a trampoline or getting up in trees. Gymnastics fit me perfectly. I love doing flips and being upside down, doing things other kids wouldn’t do.”
The UT Dallas Gymnastics Club, now in its fourth year, is co-ed and open to all levels. Members participate in competitive and recreational events, and train at Eagles Wings Athletics in Allen, where Trompeter works part-time as a coach for boys ages 7-18.
At a recent national meet in Atlanta, the UT Dallas Swimming team placed 45th out of 74 participants. The team accomplished this despite having only 15 members at the event — half the number other teams usually bring to compete for a title. About 1,600 athletes participated at the East Coast Collegiate Swim & Dive Club National Championship.
The men set its team record for the 800 Freestyle Relay and broke school records for the 400 and 200 Freestyle Relays. The 400 Medley team missed setting a school record by just .02 seconds. The women’s team set a new school record for the 400 Individual Medley.
“I’m extremely proud of them. This is a huge step up. We did really well. We went from taking three members last year to 15 this year. I’m hoping we’ll have up to 20 next year.”
“I’m extremely proud of them. This is a huge step up. We did really well,” said Austin Mullins, a business administration junior at the Naveen Jindal School of Management and club president. “We went from taking three members last year to 15 this year. I’m hoping we’ll have up to 20 next year.”
Swimming is a club sport that doesn’t depend on a person’s physical size, Mullins added.
“I’m not a very large individual, so there are some team sports I’m not able to do. But swimming has really stuck with me. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” he said.
The University’s Table Tennis team finished seventh nationally in team competition at the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association championship April 10-12 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
A co-ed team of five players from UT Dallas went to the competition, facing other schools that included the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan and Harvard University. They lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions, Mississippi College.
Lin Hong, a women’s singles player, finished in the top 8 and Sai Vemuri finished in the top 32 in men’s singles. Besides Hong and Vemuri, team members included club president Kevin Tsai, Anukulkumar Thandra and Chandrasekhar Malladi.
Vemuri, a master’s student in information technology management, was captain of his college team in India that won state tournaments four years in a row.
He researched UT Dallas before coming from Hyderabad, India, to make sure the University had a table tennis team. Vemuri summed up the appeal of the game: “The speed.”
“It’s one of the fastest racket sports. It’s been touted as the best brain sport. Neuroscientists call it ‘lightning-fast chess.’ You get to decide your move in milliseconds,” Vemuri said.
To learn more about the club sports that are available or to find out how to get involved, see the Club Sports website or call 972-883-7457.