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In brief: Small gesture pays off big

Auto racing: It started with a small gesture by Graham Rahal, who wanted to raise money for Dan Wheldon’s family by auctioning off his helmet from the IndyCar season finale.

He announced his intentions on Twitter and the response from the motorsports community was immediate and overwhelming.

More than $200,000 had been raised by Wednesday, the ninth day of the auction, with many big-ticket items yet to be posted. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to a trust fund established by IndyCar for Wheldon’s wife and two young sons. Wheldon was killed in a race at Las Vegas on Oct. 16.

He has since enlisted help with the auction – got Rahal with eBay, which waived all fees, and Auction Cause, a Los Angeles-based auction management agency.

Associated Press

NIC regional volleyball host

Volleyball: North Idaho College will host the Region 18 volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday at Christianson Gym.

The Cardinals, ranked fifth in the final regular-season poll, shared the Scenic West Athletic Conference title with No. 7 Salt Lake but won the tiebreaker to earn hosting rights. Two berths to the national tournament in West Plains, Mo., are on the line.

On Friday, fourth-seeded Eastern Utah meets No. 5 Snow at 1 p.m. with the winner facing No. 1 NIC (21-8) at 7 in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, No. 3 Southern Idaho faces No. 6 Colorado Northwestern at 10 a.m. with the winner advancing to meet No. 2 Salt Lake at 4.

The championship match is Saturday at 1.

Whits picked to three-peat

College basketball: Whitworth University has been picked in Northwest Conference coaches’ poll to win a third consecutive conference men’s basketball title.

George Fox was made the favorite in the women’s race. Whitworth was tabbed fifth.

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