After days of slogging through deep snow, pushing his bike, recent improved trail conditions helped bicyclist Peter Basinger win the Iditarod Invitational 350-mile race for the sixth time.
Basinger finished the race from Knik to McGrath early Sunday in an unofficial time of 6 days, 15 hours, according to the race website. He has won the race three straight years.
Here's the measure of how slow the course was for much of the race -- Basinger's race record on a bicycle is 3 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes, set in 2007. He also won the race on a bike in 2011, 2010, 2006 and 2005. Basinger was the first skier to finish in 2009.
Bikers Phil Hofstetter and Pavel Richr tied for second place in 6 days, 16 hours, 8 minutes.
Renowned ultra-runner Geoff Roes of Juneau ran and snowshoed his way to the finish in 6 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes, according to the race's Facebook page.
Roes at one point led all the bicylists when heavy snow on the trail early in the race reduced them to pushing their bikes and Roes was able to get the overall lead on his snowshoes.
Roes is perhaps best known as the course record-holder in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run. He is also owns the race record in the 24-mile Crow Pass Crossing, a backcountry marathon from near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center. He has twice been named Ultrarunning magazine's male Ultrarunner of the Year.
Victory in the running division probably was especially satisfying for Roes because he dropped out in two previous attempts in the race.
5 CIC teams in mix
The Alaska School Activities Association on Sunday revealed the 64 teams for the state basketball tournaments, and only one Cook Inlet Conference team earned an at-large bid based on its Winning Percentage Index.
The Service boys, who finished third in the conference tournament, made it into the Class 4A field as the No. 5 seed. The Cougars join tournament champion Dimond, the No. 2 seed, and runner-up Bartlett, the No. 3 seed. Wasilla is seeded No. 1.
In girls 4A, Wasilla is seeded No. 1. Cook Inlet Conference champion Dimond is seeded No. 2 and runner-up West is seeded No. 6.
The state tournament, in four classes, runs March 12-17 at Sullivan Arena.
Here are the first-round match-ups.
ASAA/First National Bank Alaska
2012 State Basketball Tournaments
Girls First Round, March 12 -- Chefornak vs. Alak, 8 a.m.; Kiana vs. Shishmaref, 9:45 p.m.; Fort Yukon vs. St. Mary's 3:15 p.m.; Aniak vs. Newhalen, 5 p.m.
Boys First Round, March 12 -- Chefornak vs. Nunamiut, 11:30 a.m.; Kiana vs. Golovin, 1:15 p.m.; Aniak vs. Newhalen, 6:45 p.m.; Fort Yukon vs. Russian Mission, 8:30 p.m.
Girls First Round, March 12 -- Tok vs. Nikolaevsk, 11:30 a.m.; Tikigaq vs. Yakutat, 1:15 p.m.; Cook Inlet vs. Togiak, 6:45 p.m.; Klawock vs. Noatak, 8:30 p.m.
Boys First Round, March 12 -- Birchwood Christian vs. Bristol Bay, 8 a.m. Noorvik vs. Hydaburg, 9:45 a.m.; Yakutat vs. Hooper Bay, 3:15 p.m.; Cook Inlet vs. Scammon Bay.
Girls First Round, March 15 -- Dillingham vs. Craig, 8 a.m.; Sitka vs. Barrow, 9:45 a.m.; Seward vs. Galena, 3:15 p.m.; Hutchison vs. ACS, 5 p.m.
Boys First Round, March 15 -- Sitka vs. Nome, 11:30 a.m.; Barrow vs. Mt. Edgecumbe, 1:15 p.m.; ACS vs. Hutchison, 6:45 p.m.; Monroe Catholic vs. Grace Christian, 8:30 p.m.
Girls First Round, March 15 -- West vs. West Valley, 11:30 a.m.; Soldotna vs. Colony, 1:15 p.m.; Wasilla vs. Palmer, 6:45 p.m.; Juneau vs. Dimond, 8:30 p.m.
Boys First Round, March 15 -- Juneau vs. Service, 8 a.m.; Colony vs. Bartlett, 9:45 a.m.; Kenai vs. Dimond, 3:15 p.m.; Wasilla vs. Lathrop, 5 p.m.
Anchorage Daily News