ST. JOHNS, Fla. — St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association (SJMSAA) Cheer Commissioner, Tanya White, shared pictures of a smiling Tristyn Bailey with Action News Jax.
White says the photos were taken shortly after Tristyn had won the Spirit Award in an August SJMSAA cheerleading camp.
Tristyn’s alleged killer, Aiden Fucci, 14, made his first appearance on second degree murder charges Tuesday morning.
“She just, was so happy and jumped straight up and came running out of the little crowd of her team,” said White. “And gave me a hug and was so happy, and so thrilled.”
White tells Action News Jax she also serves as the cheer association’s photographer. She says Tristyn was a seventh-grade team captain this school year at Patriots Oaks Academy.
“My favorite interaction with her would be the photoshoots that we would do,” said White.
She says Tristyn will be remembered as an encouraging teammate with a bubbly personality.
“She would always push them to be their best. And that’s definitely one of the legacies that she’s leaving with all of our athletes,” said White. “… I’ve said it before, and literally out of 285 cheerleaders that we had last year, she stood out to me the most.”
With their parents’ permission, Action News Jax interviewed Bella Murphy, 10, and Marley Meyer, 12.
Murphy and Meyer were Tristyn’s teammates at Infinity Allstars Cheerleading and Dance Gym.
“[Tristyn] always used to hug me whenever I hit my stunts,” said Murphy.
“It’s really devastating because [Tristyn] was such a good friend, and it’s been really hard for the past couple of days,” said Meyer.
Meyer tells Action News Jax she and Tristyn were on the same Infinty Allstars’ team to win first place at a Universal Cheerleaders Association competition earlier this month.
“When we won, I remember me and Tristyn were just crying, we were like, hugging each other. We were like, laughing and we were like screaming,” said Meyer.
White, Murphy, and Meyer, say Tristyn’s legacy will never be forgotten in the cheerleading community.
“I can’t imagine how scared she was,” said White. “… And what her parents are going through right now … I already have a special bow I’m getting made. Every cheerleader next year will get a Tristyn bailey bow that they can carry around on their bag. Teal of course, that’s her favorite color.”
“She was a really sweet girl and was really nice,” said Murphy.
“I remember before we went to competitions, we would always have pep talks before we went on. [Tristyn] was always there to help me and build me up,” said Meyer.
White says SJMSAA will be selling teal t-shirts in honor of Tristyn’s memory, and all proceeds will go to Tristyn’s family.
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