The Seavey effect is on display in the Junior Iditarod.
The top two mushers to reach the halfway point of the 150-mile sled dog race Saturday were Noah Pereira, a handler for defending Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey, and Conway Seavey, Dallas' younger brother.
Pereira, a 16-year-old from Clarkson, N.Y., led a field of 13 into Yentna, arriving at 5:31 p.m.
Seavey, the defending champion from Sterling, was right behind at 5:35 p.m. Arriving third was Jenny Greger of Bozeman, Mont., at 5:44 p.m.
The race, for mushers ages 14-17, started at 10 a.m. Saturday at Knik Lake. Mushers must take a 10-hour layover before returning to the trail, where they will backtrack to the finish line at Willow Lake. The race should finish mid-morning Sunday.
Into Yentna -- Noah Pereira, Clarkson, N.Y., 5:31 p.m.; Conway Seavey, Sterling, 5:35; Jenny Greger, Bozeman, Mont., 5:44; Alea Robinson, Eagle River, 6:07; Benjamin Harper, Wasilla, 6:14; Taylor Steele, Hopewell, Pa., 6:25; Abigail Brooks, Fairbanks, 6:29; Jimmy Lanier, Chugiak, 6:36; Joshua Klejka, Bethel, 6:36 p.m.; Malinda Tjelta, Sheyenne, N.D., 7:23; Caleb Miller, Bethel, 7:23. Out of Eagle Song Lodge (on way to Yentna) -- Jonathan Biggerstaff, Talkeetna, 4:45 p.m.; Annika Olesen, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, 5:48.
Yeaton 6th at regionals
Anchorage's Jessica Yeaton, skiing for Montana State, capitalized on the home-course advantage by placing sixth in the 15-kilometer classic race Saturday at the NCAA West Regional ski championships in Bozeman, Mont.
Andrew Dougherty was the top Alaskan in the men's 20-K race, placing eighth.
The championships featured nordic competition at Bohart Ranch and alpine competition at Bridger Bowl on Saturday. UAA landed one skier in the top 15 of each race.
Vanessa Berther, a sophomore from Bellevue, Wash., led the Seawolves by placing eighth in the women's giant slalom. Cedrick Gagnon, a freshman from Quebec, placed 15th in the men's GS.
The nordic team was led by a 10th-place finish in the men's race from Lukas Ebner, a junior from Germany, and a 12th-place finish in the women's race from Marine Dusser, a freshman from France.
Bjornsen 37th at worlds
Alaska Pacific University skiers Sadie Bjornsen and Holly Brooks placed 38th and 49th, respectively, Saturday in the skiathlon at the Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
It was a disappointing day for the U.S. Ski Team, which had just one skier in the top 30 -- Liz Stephen of E. Montpelier, Vt., who finished 20th in the women's 15-kilometer race, which was one-half skating and one-half classic.
In the men's 30-K race, also half skating and half classic, Kris Freeman of Andover, N.H., was the top American in 41st place.
Anchorage's Kikkan Randall, the World Cup sprint leader, sat out the race in preparation for Sunday's team sprint race. Erik Bjornsen, the fourth APU skier on the world championship team, also skipped the race.