18 — Laura Neese from McMillan, Michigan.
On a small farm in Newark, Ohio, Laura and her oldest sister raised Boer goats, and for eight years her 4-H project was training and showing five family dogs. She fell in love with dog mushing and long distance racing when she was nine years old, and her family followed the Iditarod as a homeschool project. After four years learning everything she could, she started a small kennel in Ohio, and began running short races in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She graduated from high school at age 16, and earned an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology at Penn Foster College. In 2014 she moved to McMillan, Michigan, to pursue her dream of long distance racing at Nature’s Kennel in the Upper Peninsula.