Seavey wins Kuskokwim 300

To view the original story please visit: http://www.adn.com/front/story/289284.htmlMitch Seavey took control of the Kuskokwim 300 along the return path to Bethel early Sunday and on into the evening, winning the $20,000 first prize when he crossed the finish line at 8:09 p.m.Seavey took over first place between Kalskag and Tuluksak, and held onto the lead into the final checkpoint at Akiachak. The Seward musher traversed the 308-mile course from Bethel to Pike Lake cabin and back in 49 hours, 37 minutes and 44 seconds, almost six hours slower than last year’s winning time.As of 10:30 p.m Sunday, only four teams had crossed the finish line. Ramey Smyth of Houston pulled into Bethel 56 minutes after Seavey. He never led at any of the checkpoints, but held onto second since arriving in Tuluksak Sunday morning.Kotzebue’s Ed Iten and John Baker were the next to reach Bethel. Iten arrived 48 minutes after Smyth, and Baker came in another 11 minutes after that. They both passed last year’s rookie of the year, Rohn Buser, along the way.The 18-year-old from Big Lake left Akiachak at 6:41 p.m. with 11 dogs. He held the lead at the race’s halfway point at Pike Lake cabin and again coming into Kalskag inbound.Seavey, the 2004 Iditarod Sled Dog Race champion and ninth-place finisher last year, was as far back as eighth during the outbound portion of the race, and seventh inbound.But between Aniak and Kalskag, Seavey made up four places to stand in third, averaging a swift 9.33 mph. When he left Kalskag after a four-minute stop, he was in second. By the time he hit Tuluksak, the penultimate checkpoint on the way back to Bethel, Seavey was in first, though he had slowed his pace to 7.63 mph.Between Tuluksak and Akiachak Seavey was cruising at 9-plus mph. He finished the final 15-mile leg at a leisurely 4.93 mph pace.Martin Buser, last year’s champion and father of Rohn, was in ninth place and on his way to Akiachak as of press time.Jeff King, the winningest Kusko musher of all time and a four-time Iditarod champion, stood in sixth place, but had not yet reached the final checkpoint.Nineteen of the 22 teams were still racing as of 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Iditarod fan favorite and two-time runner-up DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow scratched in Kalskag inbound; Jackie Larson and Jessica Klejka scratched in Aniak outbound.Only five teams had made it as far as Akiachak. Four had reached and left Tuluksak, five were still in Tuluksak. Three mushers were in between Kalskag and Tuluksak and the final two still running were encamped in Kalskag.Results as of January 21st 7.30pm 1 Mitch Seavey Bethel (finish) Jan 20 20:09:44 2 Ramey Smyth Bethel (finish) Jan 20 21:05:12 3 Ed Iten Bethel (finish) Jan 20 21:53:22 4 John Baker Bethel (finish) Jan 20 22:04:41 5 Rohn Buser Bethel (finish) Jan 20 23:45:55 6 Martin Buser Bethel (finish) Jan 20 23:53:03 7 Paul Gebhardt Bethel (finish) Jan 21 01:43:00 8 Jeff King Bethel (finish) Jan 21 04:34:14 9 Sebastian Schnuelle Bethel (finish) Jan 21 04:58:12 10 Dave Decaro Bethel (finish) Jan 21 05:20:04 11 Myron Angstman Bethel (finish) Jan 21 05:20:16 12 Melissa Owens Bethel (finish) Jan 21 07:40:54 13 Hugh Neff Bethel (finish) Jan 21 16:19:00 14 Gerald Riley Akiachak (in bound) Jan 21 10:14:00 15 Mike Williams Sr. Akiachak (in bound) Jan 21 16:15:00 16 Mike Williams Jr. Akiachak (in bound) Jan 21 16:17:00 17 Jim Lanier Tuluksak (in bound) Jan 20 21:15:00 18 David Tresino Tuluksak (in bound) Jan 21 11:01:00 19 Kyle Belleque Kalskag (in bound) Jan 20 15:07:00S DeeDee Jonrowe Kalskag (in bound) Scratched in Kalskag.S Jessica Klejka Aniak (out bound) Scratched in AniakS Jackie Larson Aniak (out bound) Scratched in Aniak.

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