Last sled dog race of the season held
SWEETWATER TWP. — Dogsledders from the U.S. and Canada competed in the Great Lakes Sled Dog Race Association's Stearns Siding Sprint Race on Feb. 29-March 1.
Racing took place in Sweetwater Township within the Manistee National Forest and on sections of two county seasonal roads.
Despite warm temperatures and sunny skies for days leading up to race weekend, the season-long trail grooming and trail maintenance provided by Michigan Dog Drivers Association allowed the event to go on. The special permit from the Lake County Road Commission allowing the road restrictions on the two county roads was also a key element in preserving the snow base for racers.
Top finishers this weekend included:
Abigaile Fox, of East Greenville, Pennsylvania, who finished first in the eight-dog class;
Linda Lange, of Baldwin, who was second in the eight-dog class;
Luke Siertsema, of Blyth, Ontario, Canada, who took first place in six-dog racing;
Fox, who placed second in the six-dog class;
Jay Olmstead, of Sinclairville, New York, who was the first-place winner in the four-dog class;
and Mandy Collins, of Mancelona, who took second in the four-dog class.
Registered breed placings included:
Frank Wright, of Holton, who finished in first place in the six-dog class;
Kim Scharmer-Ruhl, of Bryant, Wisconsin, who finished second in six-dog and first in the four-dog registered breed class;
and Bonnie Nessia, of Utica, New York, who took second place in the registered breed class in four-dog.
In the four-dog sport class, Elizabeth Kauffman, of Irons, earned the top placing, with John Oudes, of Plymouth, Indiana, in second.
Carter Bartell, of Wisconsin, was the three-dog junior winner. Clayton Munford won the one-dog junior race.
There was also a fun run class, with 12 entries, including participants with up to two dogs using skis, sleds and snowshoes. There were 48 overall entries for the race.