Lathrop family aces event |

Lathrop family aces event

Mixed Doubles Championships deemed a success

— The Sunday finals matches at the Steamboat Springs Tennis Association’s Mixed Doubles Championships were an active family affair.

With four skill divisions based on both partner’s combined ability ratings, the tournament provided a unique format allowing parents, children, husbands and wives to play together in a competitive playoff atmosphere.

Despite never having played together, the mother-son tandem of Debbie and Brian Aragon advanced to the 8.0 division finals against the Littleton husband-and-wife team of Rick and Debbie Lathrop.

“I had to get used to talking to her,” Brian Aragon said about his teammate. Aragon, a senior who begins practice for the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team in two weeks, said the doubles play — heavy on lob shots and finesse — was much different than the tennis he’s used to playing.

The Lathrops, calling themselves “virtual Steamboaters” based on the amount of time they spend here, won the match, 6-2, 6-3.

“Old age and treachery beats young age and whatever else every time,” Rick Lathrop joked.

Perhaps genetics played a role also.

While Rick and Debbie Lathrop were busy winning the 8.0 division, Rick’s parents, Don and Jo Ann Lathrop, won the 7.0 division against Jan and Bill McGinnis, 6-2, 6-3.

“It’s all in the family,” Rick Lathrop said.

Elizabeth Speare and Dave Schaller beat Marilyn Floyd and Joel Toy, 6-3, 6-2, to take the win in the 8.5 division.

Craig residents Michael Stern and Karel Snell won the 7.5 division, 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-3, over Joe and Claudia Bartholomew.

“We played a team from Florida earlier, and (the Bartholomews) were from southern Illinois,” Stern said. “Just a wonderful weekend with a lot of tennis.”

Jim Swiggart was equally pleased.

As director of the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, which hosted the tournament along with Saturday night’s U.S. Open party and exhibition, Swiggart said he was excited to have sold all 500 tickets to the party. The event raised $25,000 to help benefit junior tennis programs. Marlyn and Cal Myers were the lucky winners of the grand prize trip to New York that included tickets to 2006 U.S. Open men’s and women’s finals.

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