Coming back from mystery illness

Tavin Krutop came back from a mystery illness to win five straight competitions earlier this year. Photo submitted.

10-year-old Tavin Krutop returns to motocross

After pulling a tick out of his hair at lunch, 10-year-old Tavin Krutop was noticeably more lethargic heading into his second motocross race of the day on April 1. His dad, Jeremy Krutop, wondered what was going on when he saw his son slumped over his handlebars at the start gate, a stark contrast to his usual focused self.

“As soon as he pulled the tick out 15 minutes later he was supposed to go out back on the track and he just couldn’t do it,” said Jeremy.

The next competition Tavin started out strong but then was hit with extreme fatigue coming off the track and laid down for a nap in his family’s trailer.

“We didn’t know what was wrong with him, even his friends at the race would be like ‘C’mon Tav’ give him fist bumps just trying to get him going. He just wasn’t into it, he was just so down,” said Jeremy.

Tavin’s symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and lethargy continued and he was forced to miss one month of races to recover from his sudden illness.

“We couldn’t figure out if his symptoms were from the tick or from a virus or mono because he was really weak for quite a few weeks,” said Tavin’s mum, Kristen MacMillan.

While his diagnosis remains unconfirmed, Tavin had elevated levels when tested for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a bacterial disease transmitted through tick bites.

Just one month later Tavin made his return with a second place finish at Green River. He then went go on to win the next five straight races finishing the spring season second overall 11 points shy of first place.

“People were asking what happened to him when he came back because when he came back from being sick all the sudden he won five races in a row,” said Jeremy.

Tavin said it felt pretty good coming back adding it felt like he missed a bit of time but it wasn’t bad getting back into competition. As a sponsored athlete by RTR, Fox Canada and Powder Ventures the young athlete has had a lot of support behind him as he prepares for the fall race series.

“It’s (racing)  commitment on Tavin’s part  but it’s something he’s wanted to do himself right from the beginning. He’s had that drive, his own drive,” said MacMillan.

With the support of his sponsors, parents and fellow competitors Tavin will start off the fall season by heading down to Washougal, WA Aug 25 to 26 to take on a bigger competition pool.

“It’s just different.It’s not really like a series, there’s a lot more kids, more competition. It’s just a different atmosphere,” said Tavin.

As part of his preparation for the upcoming 125 Dream Race in Washougal, Tavin has been riding with Ross Thompson and has even taken part in the Sun Peaks Resort Shred Hard Summer Camps for downhill mountain biking.

“He just loves being on a bike no matter what whether it’s his dirtbike or his mountain bike,” said MacMillan.

With only three years of motocross racing under his belt Tavin took the title of new kid beginner championship his first season, then he won the 50cc championship his second year and was on track to take the overall title in his division this spring series. The family is hoping to see his progression pick back up this fall.