- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Seven dog mushers led by two-time champion Mitch Seavey have reached the halfway point of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The Seward, Alaska, musher reached Huslia (HOO-slee-ah) at 8:18 p.m. Thursday with 16 dogs.

That was almost four hours ahead of Nicolas Petit.

Five other mushers followed Petit into Huslia.

The standings are likely to be rearranged as mushers take mandatory rest stops. Seavey on Thursday had not taken a required 24-hour stop or a mandatory eight-hour break.

Officials in the nearly 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks to Nome say a dog died in the race Thursday.

A 2-year-old male named Deacon in the team of veteran Seth Barnes died at 11:40 p.m. Thursday, just before Barnes reached Galena.

A necropsy is planned to determine the cause of death.

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