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Klejka mushes his way to fourth in Junior Iditarod


Jesse Klejka added another page to his family’s success in the Junior Iditarod Sled Dog race. The Bethel musher guided his team to a fourth-place finish in the 2012 race on Feb. 26.

Klejka finished the race at 4:58 p.m. and finished just over an hour off the winning pace in his second attempt at the race. Conway Seavey won the 2012 Junior Iditarod crown by crossing the finish line at 3:52 p.m.

Seavey edged out Bejamin Lyon by 1 minute for the top honor. The two had departed the race’s final checkpoint at Old Hunter Trail Head in a dead heat. Seavey covered the final leg of the race in a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes – 60 seconds faster than Lyon.

Benjamin Harper finished third overall, checking in at 4:03 p.m.

With the fourth-place finish, Klejka finished two spots higher than his rookie run in 2011.

His effort only adds to his family’s list of impressive efforts in the Junior Iditarod, which is open to mushers between the ages of 14 and 17.

Last season, Klejka’s older brother, Jeremiah, won the Junior Iditarod title.

Jeremiah Klejka was the second member of his family to win the race. His older sister, Jessica won the 2009 race, only a few seasons after earning the Red Lantern in her first run.

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