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Sportsline: Fallis runs in memorial marathon

Bemidji's best known marathon runner, JoAnn Fallis recently ran the 20th annual Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon at LasCruces, N.M.

The marathon is run in conjunction with the annual Death March Memorial gathering of survivors of that event during World War II.

She accompanied her 83-year-old father Dick Clemens, a W-II veteran, to the gathering.

The non-competitive marathon is run to honor the Death March survivors who were taken prisoner in the Philippines by the invading Japanese.

The marathon was run in two divisions, the civilian category and the heavy division where runners wore military gear and 35 pound back packs similar to those worn by the prisoners in the march.

There were 11,796 Americans who began the march from Bataan to prisoner of war camps, many of whom never reached that destination.

Fallis who has competed in marathons throughout the nation, plans to return to this event next year.

Familiar face

There will be a familiar face at the head of the Brainerd High boys basketball team next winter.

Wade Haapajoki hopes to restore the Warriors' program to the way it was when he played for the team in his high school days.

The new coach was a basketball starter at Brainerd from 1992-95 as well as a football and baseball star. He helped Brainerd win the Class 2A state baseball championship in1995.

He succeeds Mike Urbanek who resigned after this season and has taken over the head boys cage post at Jordan.Haapajoki is a Brainerd football assistant coach and has been an assistant in both the boys and girls cage programs.

Brainerd has gone 131-195 in the past 13 years and never won a section title in that span.

There were 18 applications for the post with four potential coaches interviewed.

Sports cutbacks

The MSHSL board of directors this week passed a series of moves designed to cut costs of sports in the state.

They also voted to push back the prep golf season one week to allow for more suitable playing time for the sport.

The board vote to prohibit any out of state trips of more than 600 miles for competition and also cut back on double elimination phases in the early stages of post season tournaments, a change vehemently opposed by many coaches.

New limits on the number of scrimmages and jamborees were put into effect.

The board also eliminated neutral sites for section tournament games before the championship rounds unless the neutral site would be to accommodate large crowds or reduce travel costs for the teams involved.

Lacrosse champs

Minnetonka's boys and Eden Prairie's girls won state high school Lacrosse titles this week.

Minnetonka beat Eastview 12-10 in the boys title match after an earlier win over Centennial 20-13. Centennial beat Blake 9-7 in the third place game.

Eden Prairie won the girls crown 10-7 over Blake after a 19-2 rout of So. Washington Co. in the semifinals.

So. Washington and Centennial fought to a 9-9 tie in the third place game.

Softball champs

Elk River, Hermantown and New Life Academy won state softball crowns.

Elk River, which stopped Bemidji in the section 8-3A tourney, beat No. St. Paul 1-0 in the title round after earlier wins over Mankato West 1-0 and Hastings 2-1. Seven of the 11 games in the division ended in shutouts.

Hermantown had three shutouts in taking the 2A title, beating Minnehaha Academy 7-0 in the title round.

Its earlier wins came over Waseca 1-0 and Battle Lake 5-0.

New Life also won its title 7-0 over Maple Lake after earlier wins over Lake Crystal 3-2 and Silver Bay 5-0

East Grand Forks Sacred Heart, a 4-2 loser to Maple Lake in the semifinals, took third place1-0 over Silver Bay.

MacFarlane resigns

Moorhead is seeking a new girls hockey coach this week after the resignation of Jim MacFarlane after ten seasons at the helm.

MacFarlane, like many coaches, cited the vast amounts of time required to be a good coach, good teacher, good spouse and good parent and felt "something had to give."

He guided the Spuds to a 186-81-5 record in his ten seasons and took his team to the state in 2001-02-06.

He will continue as assistant boys golf coach and said he might return to hockey once his kids have grown up.

Legion poll

Eden Prairie retained its position atop the American Legion baseball poll.

The leaders drew 132 points to 96 for second place Hopkins. Burnsville, Maple Grove and Centennial completed the first five with the Rochester Patriots, Lakeville North, Tri City Red, Eagan and Forest Lake the second five,

They were trailed by Apple Valley. Prior Lake, So. St. Paul, Excelsior, Wayzata, Alexandria, Coon Rapids, Eastview, the Rochester Red Hawks, Edina, Owatonna and Stillwater, the last three tied for 20.

SMA, Grand Rapids, the St. Cloud 76'ers and Moorhead also drew votes.