Marshall Brookins

Marshall Brookins starts the classic race Sunday in Casper. (Courtesy photo)

Cody Nordic skier Marshall Brookins got off to a hectic start Sunday in his first High Plains qualification race during the weekend in Casper.

“I had slept in and I didn’t get to the race course until 40 minutes before my race and then while previewing the course my binding had popped off so I had to sprint my way back to the team area and try and get it fixed,” he said.

Luckily, Brookins found someone to help him fix the binding to get to the start on time. He finished second in the 5K classic race in the U18/U20 boys division with a time of 18:39.7.

“I was super stoked and really proud about finishing second on Sunday,” he said. “I felt really fast skiing. My skis were perfectly waxed and I’m stronger at classic. I was really getting good stick and getting up on my toes.”

On Saturday, he finished eighth in the 5K freestyle race in 18:45.8.

“I think I skied pretty well Saturday,” he said. “There’s definitely room for improvement though. The course was amazing, with super fast snow with a little wind. The course featured a few gruesome hills, but if you kept your momentum from the downhill they were a piece of cake.”

The Casper races were the first of the qualification races for the High Plains district, which was created to provide high school Nordic skiers from Wyoming and South Dakota the opportunity to qualify and race at USSA Junior Nationals.

An athlete can qualify for the High Plains Junior National team by posting a minimum of three qualifying results from the designated qualification events.

It is Brookins’ first year trying to reach High Plains qualification.

“I felt really good about my first High Plains race,” he said. “It’s definitely way more competitive than a regular high school race.”

Brookins will resume the high school season this weekend as the Broncs and Fillies return to Casper.

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