Freeman moves to front of Yukon Quest pack

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Peter Butteri was the first Yukon Quest musher to reach Slaven's Cabin early Tuesday, while Joran Freeman jumped ahead of the pack becoming the first to leave.

By 6 p.m., 18 mushers had reached Slaven's Cabin, 312 miles into the 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse. Slaven's is not an official checkpoint, but is a dog drop point where mushers can leave dogs that are tired or injured.

Butteri, of Tok, was first in at 3:40 a.m. Thomas Tetz of Carcross arrived at 5:10 a.m. and William Kleedehn of Carcross was two minutes behind Tetz.

Joran Freeman of Fairbanks arrived at Slaven's at 6:12 a.m. and left just eight minutes later. Butteri left at 10:08 a.m. after resting his team for more than six hours.

Among those who reached Slaven's Tuesday were Dave Monson of Fairbanks, Christopher Knott of Fairbanks, Bill Steyer of Fairbanks and Shannon Brockman of Nenana. Ten teams had left by 6 p.m., some after the mushers gave their teams several hours of rest.

Seven Yukon Quest mushers have scratched from the race, leaving 34 still on the trail. The latest was race veteran Connie Frerichs of Delta. Frerichs left Central, but returned to the checkpoint and dropped out of the race.

The first musher to reach Whitehorse will take home $30,000.

Race officials said a dog that apparently choked to death in a mishap Sunday night was flown to Fairbanks for a necropsy. The dog was in the team of Colorado musher Bill Pinkham.

Pinkham was making his way down Eagle Summit outside Central when he lost control of his sled and it flipped over. The dog, Friendly, became tangled in lines.

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