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Three men plead not guilty in connection to death of Tyson Gay’s daughter

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Three men charged in connection with the shooting death of Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay‘s 15-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty Monday and face an Oct. 25 court date.

The three appeared via video before Fayette County, Kentucky, District Court Judge T. Bruce Bell, who will assign attorneys for them.

Bell set bail at $5,000 each for Chazerae Taylor, 38, and his son, D’Markeo Taylor, 19, on wanton endangerment charges. Dvonta Middlebrooks, 21, is charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bail was set at $12,500.

 Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said police don’t believe Trinity Gay was in either of the vehicles involved.Tyson Gay said he and his daughter were very close, according to Lexington TV station WLEX, which spoke to him Sunday.

“It’s so crazy. I have no idea what happened,” Gay told the station.

Grief counselors were at Lexington’s Lafayette High School on Monday for students and staff, Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said. Both Gay and his daughter attended the school.

Lafayette principal Bryne Jacobs, teacher Rhonda Mullins and girls track coach Crystal Washington all described Trinity Gay as friendly and outgoing. She dreamed of becoming a surgeon.

“She was full of energy and life,” said Mullins, who had Gay in family and consumer science classes along with the Future Educators of America club. “She was a kid that everybody wanted to teach.”

Near the end of a Monday morning news conference, grief counselors brought in a large purple banner bearing a hashtag that read “#LLT” for Long Live Trinity and adorned with expressions from students and staff. A therapy dog named Hannah Joy was also brought in.

Jacobs said Trinity Gay’s mother, Shoshana Boyd, who also attended Lafayette, had thanked him for support from the school and community, and noted that Trinity’s life was something to celebrate.

“Our hearts are burdened that she is not in our building anymore,” Jacobs said.

A candlelight vigil is planned at 8 p.m. Monday on the school’s track, where Trinity Gay excelled.

Trinity Gay was a standout sprinter, placing in the top five in several events at the state championships in May. Her father still holds the state record in the 100 set in 2001.

“Coming from a coach’s perspective, a lot of athletes didn’t want to race her,” Washington said, “Especially the ones that might not have been as good as her. Then there were some that were like, ‘I’m going to beat her today.’ … She knew, OK, I want to beat this person today and want to get out of the blocks fast so I can win this race.”

Washington added that she saw a lot of Tyson Gay in his daughter, and in her competitive drive. She took losses hard but didn’t boast or talk trash when victorious.

Lexington police say Middlebrooks was in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant and fired multiple shots in the incident in which Trinity Gay was killed early Sunday. Court records show the Taylors admitted also firing shots.

Tyson Gay competed in the last three Summer Olympics. He was part of a team that won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2012 London Games, though that medal was ultimately stripped after Gay tested positive for steroids in 2013.

Last summer’s Games in Rio featured another stinging disappointment for Gay, 33, who has battled injuries. He was a member of the American men’s 4x100m relay team that finished third in the final before being disqualified for an illegal baton exchange between Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin. The team’s appeal was denied, giving Canada the bronze medal.

The sports world has been mourning the news of the death on social media. USA Track and Field tweeted, “Sending our thoughts & prayers to @TysonLGay & his loved ones as they mourn the tragic & senseless loss of his daughter, Trinity.”

Several of Gay’s USA track teammates echoed the comment, including Natasha Hastings and Arman Hall. Former NFL wide receiver Santonio Holmes, NBA veteran Vince Carter and tennis great Martina Navratilova have also tweeted messages of support for Gay.

It has been 7 years since Simone Biles last lost an all-around

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Simone Biles had braces but no driver’s license and “Harlem Shake” topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last time she was beaten in all-around competition, seven years ago this week.

Biles, then having just turned 16, took second to 2012 Olympian Kyla Ross at a tri-meet among the U.S., Germany and Romania in Chemnitz, Germany, on March 30, 2013.

It was just the third senior meet of Biles’ career in her first year as a senior gymnast. Since that runner-up, Biles has won 21 straight all-arounds through the October 2019 World Championships, rarely even challenged (though she has been defeated in unofficial national team camp competition).

Chemnitz marked one of the least consequential meets of Biles’ sterling career. She devoted one sentence to it in her autobiography, “Courage to Soar,” and noted she was distracted from the stress of competition on the overseas trip by daydreaming about a birthday present.

“Secretly, I hoped that when I got back home, a shiny new turquoise-blue Ford Focus would be waiting for me in our driveway,” she wrote.

Ross, speaking by phone last week, faintly recalled when asked the last time Biles was defeated.

“I think it was … were we in Germany?” she said. “Oh gosh, I don’t even know if I can remember it that well.”

Ross did remember training before the meet at a German national team gym.

“When we got to the arena we were all kind of shocked,” she said. “In elite, we’re all used to competing on podium or in these big arenas. It was more of just almost like a college meet. Like it was a basketball floor. Nothing was on podium.

“I don’t even remember how the scores were shown or anything. Those meets in the spring in elite we’re just trying to get our routines figured out and get more consistent.”

Ross was the all-around star of the U.S. program at the time, given fellow 2012 Olympians Gabby DouglasJordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman were taking breaks. She won both Chemnitz and the U.S. Classic (where Biles was pulled mid-competition by coach Aimee Boorman after early struggles).

Later that summer, Biles edged Ross by two tenths of a point combining scores from two days at nationals, and they again went one-two at the world championships.

“I felt like it was kind of the two of us,” Ross said. “This was her time to upgrade and make a name for herself. I definitely feel like I helped her and guided her a little bit. I feel like Martha [Karolyi] wanted me to teach her the ropes a little bit just because she always so fun and outgoing but definitely needed to try to learn and focus and understand what it was like to compete internationally and compete for Team USA.”

NBC Sports researcher Sarah Hughes contributed to this report.

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MORE: Kocian, Ross reflect on likely end to gymnastics careers

 

Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.