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Lindsay Girard: State champ gymnast and jumper

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Girard

By Calli Newberry

Lindsay Girard had one more chance to meet her season’s goal and set a new personal best. She’d maybe even squeak by to earn all-state honors. But if her previous jumps were any indication, Girard said she wasn’t optimistic.

“The jumps before were really bad. They weren’t my best really, I was barely getting 16 [feet],” Girard said. “The previous jump was a 15-foot-11 I believe. Before I went I was thinking, ‘I’ve just got to give it my all,’ and I tried my best.” 

And so, the Marine City junior stepped to the runway one last time with the sandpit before her. She began her sprint and sprung herself forward. 

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Photo courtesy of Lindsay Girard. Girard stands with her coaches Larry Rombach and Kristen Humble at the 2022 MHSAA Division 2 State Finals.

“It felt different when I was jumping, it felt more powerful. I could just feel that I was doing all the corrections my coach gave me,” Girard said. 

She was right, it was different – nearly an entire foot different. 

Girard had lept 17 feet, 7 inches to earn a state title in long jump at the MHSAA Division 2 Track and Field State Finals on Saturday, eclipsing her previous personal best of 16-9.75. 

“After I was done and I looked where they were measuring, it looked farther and it was just unbelievable,” Girard said. “I just stood there waiting for the announcement of the distance and I kind of started crying when they said it. I broke down because I had won.” 

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Girard. Girard competes for Hunts Gymnastics Academy at a meet earlier this year.

Prior to her final jump, Girard had looked at the leaderboard, which said the mark to beat was 17-4. Once she heard the announcement of her 17-foot-7 leap, she knew the title was hers. 

And although Girard said she wasn’t expecting to win the state meet, she did want to achieve her goal of jumping 17-1 or farther, and at 17-7, she more than exceeded her expectations.

“I was expecting maybe a 17-1, that was my goal. I never expected to get [the title],” she said. 

But achieving her goals on some of the largest stages in high school sports is nothing new for Girard. Just one month earlier, she was competing against some of the nation’s best gymnasts at the Level 9 Eastern Championships in Rochester, New York. 

She finished fourth with an all-around score of 37.175 points and was first in her floor routine with a score of 9.550. 

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Girard. Girard competes for Hunts Gymnastics Academy at a meet earlier this year.

And even before that, back in March she claimed a state title at the Level 9 Michigan State Championship in Battle Creek with an all-around score of 36.775 points. 

Two state titles in two different sports in less than three months. Not a bad way to end her junior year. 

“I was really happy and proud of myself that I was able to jump and get my goal,” Girard said. 

Of course, she’s not done yet. While she said she’ll be aiming for the Marine City High School long jump record next year, her main focus is gymnastics – the sport she’s been doing since she was just three years old. 

“This year I’m trying to go to level 10 so I can hopefully go to college for it,” she said. 

And with the momentum from two of her best seasons this spring, there’s no telling what her future holds.

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