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Stories about sporting events.

The Race To Iditarod's Halfway Point

Mar 11, 2020
Ben Matheson

Two women are breaking trail in the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as the front-runners head up the Innoko river from Ophir to the halfway mark at the Cripple checkpoint. Page Drobny and Michelle Phillips followed Brent Sass, the reigning Yukon Quest Champion, into Ophir on the morning of March 11. While the champ rested, they kept on driving towards Cripple, 73 miles further down the trail. The two now have a trio of champions on their tail: Sass, and former Iditarod champions Mitch Seavey and Lance Mackey. All three teams are running about an hour behind the two women.

Sass’ Dogs Blast Through To Ophir

Mar 11, 2020
KNOM

It was a little before midnight when Jessie Royer and Richie Diehl arrived at the Takotna checkpoint on the Iditarod trail and decided to rest. The group of 14 teams that followed them into Takotna also decided to stay put. That group included Bethel’s Pete Kaiser, who led the seventh team into the checkpoint. 

Iditarod Is A Game Of Leap Frog Right Now

Mar 10, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

On March 10, the Nikolai checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail was filling up with sled dog teams until Brent Sass checked in at 1:38 p.m. Instead of resting his dogs in town with the other front-runners, Sass mushed through, heading out on the trail towards McGrath. A little over an hour later, Richie Diehl and Jessie Royer gave chase, followed by Wade Marrs, Aaron Burmeister, and others. A total of nine teams had left Nikolai by around 4 p.m., but Bethel’s Pete Kaiser was not among these early departures. He got back on the trail at around 4:20 p.m.

Diehl Leads Front-runners Into Nikolai

Mar 10, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Richie Diehl was the first musher into Nikolai, coming into the checkpoint at 10:33 a.m. on March 10. He was followed into Nikolai by Jessie Royer, Travis Beals, and Wade Marrs. Reigning Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser is four teams farther back in the parade. Bringing up the rear of that group is Jessica Klejka, one of the more recent mushers to tackle the trail from Rohn to Nikolai. She left the Rohn checkpoint with a full team a little before 10 a.m. after getting six hours of rest. There are 22 teams behind her on the Iditarod trail.

As the Lower Kuskokwim School District hosted its big regional championship game in Bethel this weekend, other regional school districts were doing the same.

Y-K Delta Musher Interviews At Rainy Pass Checkpoint

Mar 10, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Two Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta mushers are out in the front of the pack headed to Nome. Zachariah Hughes caught up to Richie Diehl of Aniak when he got to the Rainy Pass checkpoint on March 9.

Hughes also spoke with Bethel musher Pete Kaiser.

Zachariah Hughes

It’s been a tough night on the Iditarod. As dawn approached on March 10, more than half the sled dog teams in this year’s race were on the section of trail between Rohn and Nikolai. Those 26 teams, including Yukon-Kuskokwim mushers Pete Kaiser and Richie Diehl, have made it through some of the more challenging sections of trail. That includes the infamous Dalzell Gorge, a place that has flipped many a musher’s sled in the past. Of the teams though the Alaska Range this morning, 13 are resting, some in the Farewell Burn. 

Iditarod Leaders Cross The Alaska Range

Mar 9, 2020
Zachariah Hughes

Defending Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser was the first to arrive at Rainy Pass today, coming in at 11:35 a.m. on March 9. Travis Beals and Lance Mackey were about 12 minutes behind him. The fourth musher in was Richie Diehl, about an hour and a half later. Others straggled into the checkpoint throughout the afternoon. One of those, Aaron Burmeister, the musher who grew up in Nome and now lives in Fairbanks, left the Finger Lake checkpoint at around noon today. His was the 14th team into Rainy Pass this afternoon.

Pete Kaiser First To Rainy Pass

Mar 9, 2020
KNOM

The slow pace and deep snow at the beginning of the 2020 Iditarod is not stopping last year’s champ. Richie Diehl from Aniak was the first musher into Finger Lake, arriving at 6:50 a.m. on March 9 to rest his team. He didn’t get much rest, though, as defending champion Pete Kaiser of Bethel blasted through the check point at 8:05 a.m., followed by teams driven by Travis Beals and Lance Mackey. 

Diehl left Finger Lake at 9:52 a.m., chasing the other three front runners. Kaiser's was the first team to Rainy Pass, making it there at 11:35 a.m. where he stopped to rest his dogs. 

The Chefornak Lady Shamans and Shamans each won the LKSD District Basketball Tournament championship game. They will both be headed to the 1A State Basketball Championships March 18.
Greg Lincoln / Delta Discovery

The Lower Kuskokwim School District’s Basketball Tournament concluded in nail-biting fashion on March 7. Both championship games came down to one possession, with the girls’ game going into double overtime. In both the boys and girls championship matches, Chefornak matched up against Toksook Bay. Chefornak came out on top in each contest, and the Shamans and Lady Shamans are headed to state. 


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