Kleedehn leading Quest teams

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2001

BRAEBURN, Yukon Territory (AP) -- William Kleedehn of Carcross, Yukon was leading the top teams Monday in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Kleedehn left the Braeburn checkpoint, 100-miles into the race, at 5:46 Alaska Time.

Two-time champion John Schandelmeier of Paxson Lake left Braeburn about an hour behind Kleedehn. He was followed by David Sawatzky of Healy at 7:02 a.m.; Tim Osmar of Clam Gulch at 7:17 a.m. and Cim Smyth of Big Lake at 7:18 a.m.

Jack Berry of Homer, Hugh Neff of Fairbanks, Andrew Lesh of Fairbanks and Joran Freeman of Two Rivers followed the top teams. By mid-morning nearly all of the 31-mushers entered in the race had reached Braeburn and about one-third had left.

The thousand-mile race began in Whitehorse Sunday and will finish in Fairbanks.

Race manager Leo Olesen said the trail is in good shape to Dawson, but he says the second half of the trail will be very rough.

Nearly one-third of the teams entered in this year's Quest are rookies.

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