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Woodbury senior David Khazanovich returns to help lead the Royals this year. He and fellow senior Nate Henning were part of the Royals' 200-yard freestyle relay that finished seventh at state last year.

2012-13 Winter Preview: Khazanovich, Henning will help lead new-look Woodbury swim team

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2012-13 Winter Preview: Khazanovich, Henning will help lead new-look Woodbury swim team
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Following the departure of two longtime standouts, the Woodbury boys swimming and diving team will have a whole new look this season.

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"I am excited to see how our young swimmers have improved over the off season," said Woodbury head coach Marty Hoven, who is entering his fourth season with the Royals. "We also are adding a few new swimmers this season that have a lot of potential. I am looking to build on our successes from last year."

Woodbury graduated two of the top swimmers in the program's history last spring in Greg Norsten and Victor Lugg.

Last winter, Norsten won the state championship in the 200-yard individual medley, defending his title in the event, and Lugg finished in second place in the 50-yard freestyle at the state meet.

Norsten holds Woodbury records in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle. As for Lugg, he broke two 20-year old school records with his state-meet times in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

As a team, Woodbury took an impressive sixth place in the state meet with 110 points, just back of fifth-place Edina and ahead of three Suburban East Conference rivals - Mounds View (109 points), East Ridge (107 points) and Stillwater (95 points). Eden Prairie won the Class AA state title with 314.50 points.

Back to the lineup this season are seniors David Khazanovich and Nate Henning. Khazanovich and Henning were also state entrants last year, swimming in the Royals' 200-yard freestyle relay along with Norsten and Lugg. The Royals finished seventh in the event at state.

Henning was elected a team captain this season along with Eric Moen.

Other top swimmers expected to be key contributors this season include Brady Bennett and Eric Westfall.

Hoven said he believes the teams to beat in the conference and the section will be East Ridge and Stillwater.

Woodbury kicks off the year on Thursday, Dec. 6 in the annual Suburban East Conference relays at Stillwater Junior High School. Other key meets include the Woodbury Invitational on Dec. 15 and its head-to-head dual with East Ridge on Jan. 17 at Woodbury Middle School.

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