Marshall the monster

As Marshall Gehrke soars through his first year of high school, he begins to create a name for himself.

Freshman Marshall Gehrke is well known for bicycle motocross (BMX). He is known for taking risks and entertaining tricks. Gehrke has many hobbies including singing and playing basketball, but one of his hobbies has turned into a dream. 

Summerfest night [was the] first show I ever did,” Gehrke said. “At the [show] I did a double backflip and a 1080.”

Gehrke is the youngest BMX rider to accomplish the 1080 trick and to land it. He works daily to improve his skills and to gain new ones. Gehrke caught the attention of two major companies: Vans and Monster Energy. He has gained sponsorships from both popular companies. From these sponsorships, he gets to travel all around the country and receives BMX gear and BMX stickers for his bike and helmet to represent the companies. 

“It is an amazing feeling to be as young as I am and to have the luxury of being sponsored by Vans and Monster Energy,” Gehrke said. “This is not something a lot of people get to experience which I don’t  take for granted and I try to thank [Vans and Monster Energy] in every way I can for the opportunity.”

Since Gehrke is sponsored, he tries to show his support back to the companies by advertising on social media, talking about them on podcasts and traveling to competitions for them. As his extracurricular schedule begins to clear up, he has more time to focus on his BMX career. 

Jacob Slabosz

“I’m going to try and keep getting better,” Gehrke said. “Keep trying to improve my craft, get better, learn more tricks, hopefully, do more competitions and travel a little bit more.”

Vans has sponsored Gehrke for almost a year and a half now, and he is very grateful for the opportunity. Monster Energy is a newer sponsorship and has signed with him for a little over a month. 

“They have really brought me in to be a part of the family, and it’s something that I never thought I’d get to experience because I’m just a kid who rode a bike,” Gehrke said.

Being sponsored at such a young age has opened Gehrke’s eyes around him and made him realize how lucky he is to have these opportunities. 

“I try to be humble because I realize a lot of kids may not like the fact that I have gotten all the things that I have worked for,” Gehrke said. “I am trying to learn how to advertise better, how to be a better person and grow my social media presence as well.”

From all the competitions and shows Gehrke has experienced, there is one particular memory that stands out to him. In June 2021, he was flown out to Virginia to show what he was capable of. The BMX show was located in an area of less opportunity given to younger kids and Gehrke wanted to change that. 

Jacob Slabosz

“All these kids seem so stoked and happy to ride their bike and I teared up,” Gehrke said. “A couple of the kids arrived and [said] ‘oh my goodness, it’s Marshall Gehrke’ and they all ran up to me and gave me a hug.”

Gehrke began to realize how BMX shaped not only his life but others’ as well. He uses his platform to establish a positive message and to spread happiness to those who look up to him. 

“I have had such an impact at such a young age on kids’ lives and getting them into BMX, and hopefully keeping them out of bad situations that they shouldn’t be in is something that hits me hard because I feel I have made a change in the world,” Gehrke said. 

Everything Gehrke has achieved so far in his BMX career is something he will never forget. While the sponsorships are a big accomplishment for Gehrke, his dreams do not stop here. He eventually wants to compete in the Olympics, meaning this freshman could have an incredibly bright future ahead of him.