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Northland musher in tight race to be first rookie to finish Iditarod

Musher Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm at the start of the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race near Willow, Alaska, on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Linda Nervick)

Musher Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm -- competing in his first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after winning the Northland's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon three times -- on Tuesday night remained in a tight race to be the first rookie to finish.

Schroeder and his team of 12 dogs arrived at the White Mountain checkpoint, about 75 miles from the finish, at 4:23 p.m. Tuesday -- six minutes ahead of fellow rookie Abbie West and her team of eight, and in 19th place of the 50 teams either finished or still on the trail. Schroeder and West have been trading the lead rookie spot for much of the race.

Teams must make a mandatory eight-hour layover at White Mountain. Schroeder should cross the finish line in Nome sometime today; check for updates.