TINA L. SCOTT
Nine-year-old Tavyn Strand of Merrill, a fourth-grade student at Merrill’s Washington School, put on an impressive performance at the 59th annual World Snowmobile Championship in Eagle River this past weekend, Jan. 14-16, 2022 .
After the Badger State Games torch-lighting that set everything in motion, Tavyn competed Friday night in the Thunder under the big track lights, his first race on the big track, on the Polaris 120 sled with a Brigg’s engine. 206 which was passed down to him from his older brother, Trentyn. The race itself was an exciting competition. Four times the race has been restarted due to problems with other competitors’ sleds – including mechanical problems, a sled’s hood falling off and even a sled on fire. On the fourth restart, Tavyn gave it her all and held off her competitors to cross the finish line with a victory, securing a first place in the world championship. He picked up a cup trophy and a 4 Cycle Central toolbox for the win.
Tavyn raced the Wisconsin Kids Snowmobile Racing Association (WKSRA) small track on Saturday and finished with two more World Championship wins, one in the Super Stock class and the other in the Leman class, which won him two more trophies.
Following his first victories, he won another trophy for his collection: the High Points trophy of the weekend.
The Strand racing team was there to cheer on Tavyn, including parents Leah and Nathan Strand, brother Trentyn, aunt Lisa Folta and grandfather Mark Kanitz with the self-proclaimed ‘deep pockets’ to help support the passion of his grandson for the race. Other race team sponsors include Z’s Fork Horners, Scott at Rock Island, Geiss Meat Service, SGS Environmental Contracting, Central Wisconsin Construction, 365 Powersports, Premier Companies, Carquest of Merrill, Pinno Buildings and Stud Boy Studs.