King wins Kuskokwim 300 again

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2003

BETHEL (AP) -- Musher Jeff King of Denali Park won the Kuskokwim 300 Sunday for the third straight year, as his daughter was bringing up the rear.

Runner-up to King was fellow Iditarod winner Martin Buser, who was runner-up to King in last year's Kuskokwim 300 before winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

King finished the race at 9:08 a.m., while Buser arrived in Bethel at 10:30 a.m. after trailing King by just 19 minutes at the last checkpoint in Kwethluk.

This year's race was marred by the death of a dog in Buser's team. According to race veterinarians, a necropsy showed the two-and-a-half-year-old male died of a ruptured liver abscess. The abscess was apparently unrelated to the rigors of racing.

Ed Iten of Kotzebue came in third, finishing at 11:30 a.m., an hour behind Buser. Nenana's Charlie Boulding was fourth, arriving in Bethel at 12:43 p.m.

Ramy Brooks of Healy came in fifth at 1:15 p.m., followed by Ray Redington Jr. of Two Rivers at 4:03 p.m. Tomas Israelson of Bethel was seventh, just eight minutes behind Redington. Aaron Burmeister of Nome was ninth, arriving at 5:25 p.m.

King's victory earned him $20,000 out of the purse of $100,000. Altogether, 16 mushers started the race Friday night, and two scratched. Half of the mushers, including King's 18-year-old daughter, Cali, remained on the trail late Sunday. Cali King was in last place, out of Kalskag at 6:30 a.m.

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