MASTERS FAMILIES COMPETE AT MOUNT HOOD’S
SUMMER FUN NATIONALS BY BILL MCCOLLOM
July 23, 2011, was a glorious morning to be on Mount Hood. The plentiful snowpack was just starting to soften under cloudless skies, and temperatures were on
the move into the 70s. It was a perfect day for a family outing in the mountains — as
well as a masters ski race.
Whether the Summer Fun Nationals represents the end of the season, the beginning of the next season, or an entity unto itself will always be a subject for debate.
But what is indisputable is that the GS and slalom races held on July 23 and 24
marked the summer highpoint for the skiing-deprived masters ski racing community,
and few left the snowfields of Mt. Hood disappointed or empty-handed.
Thanks to the efforts of race organizer Meri Stratton and her legions of racers,
who morphed into race crew for the weekend, the Summer Fun Nationals offered
something for everyone. This year the trophy table was laden with awards for the
traditional masters class winners, combined winners in each class (for the Skoch
Memorial), the Putzi Cup for fastest men and women in slalom, as well as the new
Eigenvector Fastest Family Award. And that didn’t include all the raffles and giveaways, which generally require participants to rent a small pick-up truck to haul
away their booty.
Stratton said she was pleased with the enthusiastic turnout. “We were well over
100 for the first time in a few years,” she said. “We have a large number of entries
from all our traditional masters racers, but added many racers and coaches to the
field through word of mouth. The addition of the family award this year also had a
More than 10 family combinations gave the race a go. Some had never been on a
racecourse before, while others were old pros, such as the Scroggins family from
nearby Portland, Ore.
“The family aspect was great fun,” said Willy Scroggins, who placed third in his
Class 6 in both races, despite a broken femur suffered in a car accident last March.
His wife, Kerry, fared well with a first and second in Class 5, while Tucker (age 10)
and Taitum (age 7) brought home some hardware in the junior divisions.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Stamnes family from Mercer Island, Wash.,
stumbled upon the Summer Fun Nationals quite accidentally. “We didn’t even know
there was a family race,” said Michelle Stamnes, who raced along with her three
daughters and husband, Paul. “We signed up for the Crystal Mountain race camp,
which was open to parents this year. As long as the kids were racing, we decided to
sign up ourselves, as well.”
Michelle and Paul had done some high school racing, raced in a city night league,
and made it to one masters race last season. That soon could be changing. “This