Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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February 29, 2004
Junior Iditarod Finishers all arrive in time for Banquet

The front runners left well before sunrise. In fact all of the mushers but one were gone before we woke up. Cheyenne Schmidt had gotten sick with some stomach ailment and had to scratch. After scrambled eggs and homemade cinnamon rolls, Bill and I buzzed on down the trail. We hopscotched several teams, saw tons of weekend snowmachiners and stopped to give directions to a musher who had made a wrong turn. We passed Charlie and Robin Boulding out on the river, saw a couple of moose and one eagle.

Our return was on a different trail from our outbound route. We stopped at the Deshka River Lodge checkpoint for a Diet Coke and saw Dee Dee Jonroe was a checker here. Andy Willis and his wife run the lodge where lots of folks come for good fishing in the summer months. As we got on down the trail, we passed Chrystal Compare and Michaela Maddalena and were able to watch them cross the finish line long after Nicole Osmar had won the race. Dallas Seavey was a close second place followed two minutes behind by Tessa King.

(1) Nicole Osmar - 13 hours, 14 minutes, 5 seconds; (2) Dallas Seavey - 13 hours, 23 minutes, 25 seconds; (3) Tessa King - 13 hours, 25 minutes, 11 seconds; (4) Rohn Buser - 14 hours, 3 minutes, 41 seconds; (5) Nikolai Buser - 14 hours, 3 minutes, 41 seconds; (6) Micah Degerland; (7) Max Kornmuller- 14 hours, 36 minutes, 25 seconds; (8) Joshua Kadzow - 15 hours, 16 minutes, 44 seconds; (9) Elizabeth Jayne- 16 hours, 6 minutes, 59 seconds; (10) Alana Schlang- 16 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds; (11) Alex Westlake; (12) Staci Tarpey; (13) Melissa Owens; (14) Jeremy Hoover; (15) Bailee Holt; (16) Chrystal Compare; (17) Michaela Maddalena; (18) Justin Vanover; (19) Kathleen Blevins.

As it turned out, Kathleen was the musher we met going the wrong way on the Deshka River. Officials found her on the Yentna River after making another wrong turn. In the interest of time, the race judges decided to move the finish line (including the banners) over to Deshka River Lodge so Kathleen could officially finish and make it to the banquet!! How is that for cool?

The banquet was held at Settlers Bay. Special Awards went to Alana Schlang who won the Humanitarian Award and a $1,000 scholarship. The Sportsmanship Award went to Jeremy Hoover along with another $1,000 scholarship. The Lollie Medley Blue Harness Award to an outstanding lead dog went to Malvoy, owned by Chrystal Compare. First Place finisher Nicole Osmar won a $4,000 scholarship. Dallas Seavey received $2,500 and Tessa King was awarded $1,500 in scholarships. Rookie of the Year went to Rohn Buser. Congratulations to all the awesome junior mushers!!!