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Story Last modified at 3:10 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2011

Berkowitz claims Copper Basin 300

Chugiak's Jake Berkowitz mushed his way onto the Alaska racing scene in a big way on Monday.

Berkowitz, a 24-year-old who grew up in St. Paul, Minn., held off reigning Iditarod champion Lance Mackey to win the Copper Basin 300, claiming the winner's share of the race's $15,000 purse.

Berkowitz arrived at the finish line in Paxon at 11:49 a.m. on Monday, beating Mackey to the final checkpoint by a little more than an hour. The Chugiak musher covered the 32-mile leg from Merier's Lake in one hour, 49 minutes – six minutes faster than Mackey, who left Meier's Lake at 11:05 a.m. Monday.

Berkowitz is a two-time Iditarod finisher who placed 31st in the 2009 race from Willow to Nome.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Monday, January 10, 2011.