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Guinness says, yep, you're the tallest family in the world

The Trapp family of Esko broke a Guinness World Record

Watching the Trapp kids play basketball and volleyball in the previous decade, Carlton County residents knew Esko's Trapp family was extraordinarily tall.

Now the world knows.

As announced by the family on social media only last week, Guinness World Records has declared the Trapp family of five is the tallest family in the world. As the "global authority on all things record-breaking," the folks at Guinness should know.

According to the online tallest family entry at http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/91951-tallest-family, the Trapp family is an average of 6 feet, 8.03 inches or 203.29 centimeters.

Eldest daughter Savanna Trapp-Blanchfield shared the family height breakdown from tallest to smallest (a word we use loosely here): Adam Trapp 7-foot, 3.7 inches; Savanna 6-foot, 8.5 inches; dad Scott Trapp 6-foot, 8.2 inches; Molly (Trapp) Steede 6-foot, 5.8 inches and mom Krissy 6-foot, 3.5 inches.

Savanna explained they got the idea to check out the world record book a couple years ago. The family "did a dry run" and realized they had a shot at the title.

In December 2020, they went to Dr. Ann Sudoh, an orthopedics doctor at Essentia, to be measured. "She is a doctor that understands bone structure and how to measure," Savanna said. "We had to take lots of pictures and video for evidence, then send it all in."

The wait list was about three months long for their submission to even be seen, then there were more questions, another three-month wait and a missed email with more questions, all of which added up to more than a year of wondering.

They finally got word last Thursday, Feb. 10, from a 5 a.m. email bearing the words: "Congratulations, you're a new world record holder."

Growing up tall

When asked, Savanna said she considers their height a blessing - it led to college scholarships for all three kids and other opportunities. At the same time, it was also a blessing being surrounded by family who could all understand.

"Then you weren't the only tall person facing the unique struggles," she said. "Finding clothes that fit, hitting your head on doorways and ceiling fans, walking sideways up and down stairs that are too narrow for our big feet. Even driving cars can be difficult. Having that family support was huge, so you didn't feel like a misfit."

Her mom, Krissy, was a wizard at online shopping, and somehow managed to find clothes that fit. She also homeschooled the kids before high school, which Savanna said was very beneficial. "Maybe that's why we grew so much," she said. "We were always hungry."

Dad Scott Trapp was involved in their athletic careers: all three kids played on elite Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball teams and would play some of the top teams in the country. All three ended up going to college on athletic scholarships: Savanna to UCLA and Adam to the South Dakota School of Mines for basketball, Molly to University of Wisconsin-Superior for volleyball. All three also ended their athletic careers in college, for a mixture of reasons.

Both Molly and Savanna have graduated already - Savanna's in social work, Molly is a second-grade teacher - and Adam will graduate in May with a degree in biomedical engineering.

Savanna chuckled. "His degree has nothing to do with his height, but it's his height that got him the opportunity to go to the school he wanted," she said.

To be continued

The Trapp family has also found support and friends outside the home.

Silver Rose owner Rosa Johnson talked about finding Molly a prom dress that would fit her, then tackling the wedding that followed a few years later. It was the most challenging and most rewarding wedding over her 40-year career, Johnson said.

Although the longtime formal dress shop owner said she knew which company would work the best with their demands, it was still a challenge. She took measurement after measurement.

"Not just the height, everything: torso, wingspan, everything had to be calculated," she said. "When it came in, I was thinking 'God, I hope it fits' and it did. It was perfect.

"Molly was my most memorable bride," she added.

Johnson was thrilled when she heard the news, and eager to promote her client and friend. So were many other friends of the family. There were dozens of "congratulations" and "woohoo" comments on Molly's Facebook post, along with more heartfelt notes like this one from Carol Sertich: "You kids and your parents are so amazing and beautiful! I'm very proud of you, and now you have even a bigger reason to give out autographs."

And it's not over yet.

Although the news is out on social media and online, there's more to do with their world record. The Trapp kids are coming home to Esko in March, so the whole family can meet with the folks from the Guinness Book of World Records for an interview, and more photos and videos.

"To be able to hold this record would be a tremendous honor for our family. We have always been proud of our height and want to represent height in a positive way," Guinness quoted the family as saying.

Certainly they'll have more to say in March when they all gather again in the Northland, where they grew strong and tall ... together.