North Burleigh’s Brielle Cooper has qualified for the 2017 Nutri-Grain IronWoman Finals Series after Lana Rogers was forced to pull out through injury.
Noosa Heads ironwoman Rogers will miss out on the event after suffering a toe fracture.
Cooper gets her chance as the next highest qualifier out of the Summer of Surf Sports Nutri-Grain Qualifying Series.
After only graduating from high school in December, 17-year-old Cooper said it is a surreal feeling to qualify for such a large-scale event.
“I was so excited when I got the news, I was in the car with Allie Britton (fellow North Burleigh ironwoman) and we were both so excited,” she said.
“I only graduated year 12 in December so it was a really hectic year and to do this in 12 months is amazing, I honestly couldn’t believe it.
“It will be such a steep learning curve and a good experience, and I’ll be happy to soak it up.”
Rogers said while the confirmation of the injury came as a shock, she will be looking to be back in action for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast in March/April.
“I had some inflammation in the fourth round at Torquay and it went away, but after North Wollongong it felt quite inflamed,” Rogers.
“I am really trying to focus on the Australian Titles after this bump in the road.”
You can catch the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Finals Series at North Cronulla Beach from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26.
The event will be broadcast on Fox Sports from midday to 2pm on Saturday, and midday to 2pm on Sunday, February 26.