Anderson, Schandelmeier round out top 5 in Quest

Marcel Vander Wier

Two well-known Yukon Quest mushers finished their odysseys in fourth and fifth place Wednesday in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Fairbanks musher Ken Anderson crossed the finish line with eight dogs just before 11 a.m. Alaska time to wrap up his fourth straight top-five finish in the 1,000-mile race.

Two-time champion John Schandelmeier was just more than an hour behind, sliding into the Takhini Hot Springs with three dogs in lead position.

Schandelmeier finished with nine of his original 14 huskies, a group made up entirely of shelter and surrendered dogs.

While much has changed with race technology since the Maclaren River musher's championship runs in 1992 and 1996, Schandelmeier said the trail is very much the same.

"The trail was real good on the Canadian side and the Alaska side wasn't very good," Schandelmeier said. "Sometimes it's the other way around, but that's one thing about the Quest that will never change.

"You can change all the technology you want. You can give us trackers ... fancy sleds, fancy cookers, but you're not going to change this Yukon race."

Anderson, 41, collected $10,700. Schandelmeier, 61, won $9,500.

Allen Moore of Two River claimed his second straight title early Monday. Hugh Neff of Tok finished nine hours later in second place, and Eagle musher Matt Hall, 22, finished third Tuesday to earn Rookie of the Year honors.

The race started Feb. 1 in Fairbanks with a field of 18 mushers. Six remain on the trail. Another seven either scratched or were withdrawn, including Brent Sass, the race leader at the halfway point who was jockeying for the lead with Moore when he fell off his sled, hit his head on the ice and was airlifted to Whitehorse with a concussion.


Whitehorse Star