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A pair of benefits held Saturday raised funds for area athletes who face long roads to recovery.

Schafer Reichart, a sophomore on the Doherty boys’ basketball team, was the beneficiary of $500 raised during a “miracle minute” at the Spartans’ game at Lewis-Palmer. Reichart continues to make slow but steady progress, 11 days after being airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Denver when suddenly struck by a life-threatening illness.

“I visited him last night (Saturday) and was able to speak with him some,” Doherty basketball coach Eric Steinert said. “He was awake and alert. He’s doing much better but is still dealing with some secondary problems."

Meanwhile, the final tally isn’t yet known from a fundraiser at the Purple Toad Social Tap and Grill in Falcon, where some 60 businesses and residents donated goods to a silent auction to help defray the medical expenses for Falcon High School sophomore Danny Boyle, who was paralyzed from the waist down in an automobile accident last Dec. 26. The funds also are being used to reconstruct his house to make it handicap accessible. Boyle played football for the Falcons.

Lewis-Palmer, Cheyenne Mountain come up big at PPAC swim meet

While six programs took part in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference swimming championships Thursday and Friday, two dominated the action as Lewis-Palmer and host Cheyenne Mountain accounted for all 12 event victories.

Lewis-Palmer edged the Indians, 586-583, to win the overall title, led by senior Meredith Rees, who took first in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Swimmers from Cheyenne Mountain claimed eight victories, highlighted by Harper Lehman, who won the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, and Sophia Bricker, who claimed titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.

The girls’ swim season concludes this weekend with state championships at Fort Collins (3A, Friday-Saturday) and Thornton (4A and 5A, Thursday and Saturday).

Manitou student qualifies for second national skating event

Davis Ortonward, a Manitou Springs sophomore, on Saturday helped his team take third at the Pacific Coast Synchro Sectional Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., to secure a berth in the upcoming national championships.

Just last month, Ortonward, along with fellow Manitou Springs freshman Romy Malcolm, placed seventh in the intermediate dance category at the GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships in suburban Detroit.

The national synchronized event takes place Feb. 28-March 2 in Plymouth, Mich.

Next NLI signing date takes place Wednesday

On Wednesday, football players who are headed to the Division I or II levels this fall can begin signing national letters of intent to attend school and compete athletically at the next level.

The program, which started with seven conference and eight independent institutions in 1964, now includes 657 Division I and II participating colleges and universities.

The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI-member school; the student agrees to attend the college or university for one academic year, and the institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for the same period.

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