Strand takes First Place World Championship in multiple races in Eagle River


Tavyn Strand poses with his 2022 World Champion Eagle River Derby tool chest, cup, and trophies from his snowmobile racing success over the weekend. Submitted photo.

Merrill’s nine-year-old Tavyn Strand, a fourth grader at Washington School in Merrill, made an impressive showing at the 59th Annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River this past weekend, Jan. 14-16, 2022.

After the lighting of the Badger State Games torch that set everything in motion, Tavyn competed Friday night in the Thunder under the lights on the big track, his first time racing on the big track, racing on the Polaris 120 sled with a Brigg’s 206 motor that was handed down to him from his big brother, Trentyn. The race itself was an exciting competition. Four times the race was restarted due to issues with other competitors’ sleds – including mechanical issues, a sled’s hood falling off, and even one sled on fire. On the fourth restart, Tavyn gave it his all and held off his competitors to cross the finish line with a victory, landing a First Place World Championship. He took home a cup trophy and a 4 Cycle Central tool chest for the win.

On Saturday, Tavyn raced on the Wisconsin Kids Snowmobile Racing Association (WKSRA) small track and finished with two more First Place World Championship victories, one in the Super Stock class and the other in the Leman’s class, landing him two more trophies.

As a result of his initial wins, he scored another trophy for his collection: The High Points Trophy for the weekend.

The Strand Race Team was there to cheer Tavyn on, including parents Leah and Nathan Strand, brother Trentyn, aunt Lisa Folta, and grandpa Mark Kanitz with the self-proclaimed “deep pockets” to help support his grandson’s passion for racing. 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.

The Strand Racing Team: Parents Leah and Nathan Strand, grandpa Mark Kanitz, brother Trentyn, aunt Lisa Folta, and racer, Tavyn Strand. Photo credit:; Dan Lewis Photography.

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