Before their ninth birthdays, most children are focused on throwing snowballs or making snow angels during the winter. Tallyn Wagner, of Craig, leaves a different kind of impression when he plays in the snow.
Barely tall enough to ride a full-sized snowmobile, 8-year-old Wagner still makes his mark on the sport of snocross in the region.
Wagner is undefeated in the 120 modified class of snocross in the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Racing 2014 season. In the season point standings, he has a large enough lead that he can oversleep, miss a race and still be in first.
“I could take fourth or fifth at the next couple races and still be way ahead,” he said.
But Wagner would never miss a race if he could help it. At age 8, he’s already a full-blown snowmobile fanatic. In addition to the 120 modified (a smaller snowmobile for youth riders), Wagner also competes in RMSR’s Transition and Junior divisions for Snocross, which pit him against other racers up to 15 years old. At the events that offer it, he races on the vintage oval track, does Snodrag (drag racing on snowmobiles) and Hillcross, all in multiple divisions.
All told, he has raced as many as 15 times in a day at RMSR events.
What’s more is the Sandrock Elementary third-grader is talented on a snowmobile as well. He is already sponsored by Arctic Cat, one of the premier snowmobile manufacturers in North America. That’s a privilege that isn’t handed out lightly.
“They come out to events and watch you race,” said AJ Stoffle, a high school snocross rider from Craig who is sponsored by Skidoo. “They want to see what you can do. They don’t just give out sponsorships to kids.”
The fourth race of the season is today in Alpine, Wyo., where Wagner will see his toughest competition in the 120 modified division. Instead of being concerned about it, he’s excited. He enjoys racing against the bigger kids at most races because it gives him a better challenge.”
“I think I like the junior (division) the most,” he said. “That’s where I have good riders to race against. I’m going to have to be fast at the next race.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.