Holmes takes rookie of the year; Top 17 mushers reach Nome

Jessie Holmes comes into Nome in 7th place to become the 2018 Iditarod Rookie of the Year. (KTUU)

NOME, Alaska (KTUU) - The top 10 mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race have reached Nome, including a new champion and the race’s rookie of the year, and a number of other young mushers considered to be the future of the Iditarod.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom took the win at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. See full coverage of his win here.

Nic Petit followed in second place at 5:15 a.m. Petit had had what seemed an insurmountable lead earlier in the race, until he took a wrong turn on Norton Sound between Koyuk and Shaktoolik.

Mitch Seavey, the 2017 Iditarod champion, who also has two prior wins in 2004 and 2013, finished in third place at 8:11 a.m.

Ray Redington, Jr. clocked in just after noon at 12:03 p.m. He was immediately handed a milkshake by his son.

Peter Kaiser of Bethel arrived at 1:09 p.m. in fifth place It’s his third 5th-place finish in The Last Great Race.

Richie Diehl of Aniak completed the race at 2:19 p.m. for sixth place, his highest finish in six Iditarods and first time in the Top 10.

Jessie Holmes, this year’s Rookie of the Year, approached the finish chute while Diehl was preparing to pull his team out, at 2:39. Holmes finished in seventh place and celebrated by feeding his team raw steaks. This year’s champion, Ulsom, was rookie of the year in 2013, in which he also finished in 7th place on the Southern route.

Ramey Smyth of Willow completed his 21st Iditarod in 8th place. The now 10-time Top 10 finisher raced to Nome in 10 days and 10 minutes, even.

Travis Beals earned his highest-career finish of ninth place at 3:46 p.m.

Coming in at 10th place, 64-year-old Linwood Fiedler, with his fifth Top-10 finish since his rookie race in 1989. Fiedler passed under the burled arch just about 4:30 p.m. for his first Top 10 finish since 2003, when many of this year's top 10 mushers were still teenagers. His official time was not yet posted to the Iditarod site in time for this story.

Most of the Top 10 are considered the up-and-coming generation of distance mushing in Alaska. Not counting Seavey and his decades-long career, which includes three victories, the remaining nine have 31 Top-10 finishes among them – before this year’s race.

Also finishing the race by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday:
11- Matt Hall (rookie) - Bib 15 - 6:36 p.m.
12 - Aaron Burmeister - Bib 64 - 7:29 p.m.
13 - Matthew Failor - Bib 55 - 8:53 p.m.
14 - Ketil Reitan - Bib 54 - 8:54 p.m.
15 - Aliy Zirkle - Bib 31 - 9:42 p.m.
16 - Jessie Royer - Bib 36 - 10:59 p.m.
17 - Kelly Maixner - Bib 52 - 11:34 p.m.

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