2013-14 Winter Preview: State entrant Ho back to help lead Woodbury boys swimming & diving team
Last year, a talented group of freshman made a splash for the Woodbury boys swimming and diving team. They return a year older and stronger this season to join forces with strong upperclassmen to form what should be a formidable squad.
“As a team we lost some very close scoring meets last year,” said Marty Hoven, who enters his fifth year as head coach of the Royals. “We are looking to improve on finishing meets and races. We will also challenge ourselves to work hard every day and have some fun as a team.”
Woodbury was 4-5 overall last season in a very strong Suburban East Conference, but shined at the Section 4AA championship meet, taking third place in the eight-team tournament – ahead of fourth place Tartan. Stillwater won the meet, followed by East Ridge.
Woodbury’s freshmen stood out at sections. William Ho, now a sophomore, was the only state qualifier, however. Ho took second place in the 100-yard breaststroke, racing to a time of 1 minute, 1.98 seconds, at the section meet and finished 10th in the state meet with a time of 1 minute, 0.86 seconds in the finals of the event - just outside of an all-state (top eight) performance.
Ho wasn’t the only freshman to impress last season, however.
Garrett Nortsten took third in the 200-yard individual medley and earned fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke. William Tostenson earned fifth place in the 500-yard freestyle and took ninth in the 200-yard freestyle. Brady Bennett placed sixth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200-yard IM. Austin Kinzie reached the finals in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard freestyle, taking eighth in both events with times of 59.01 and 1:52.79, respectively, and Ian Carr earned eighth in the diving competition with 278.75 points.
Senior captains Eric Fleming and Eric Westfall return to make a run this season. The team did, however, graduate key swimmers in Nathan Henning and David Khazanovich last season.
Woodbury starts the season with the annual conference relays at Stillwater Middle School on Dec. 5. The Royals’ first dual is at Roseville on Dec. 12. Woodbury’s home opener is Dec. 19 against Stillwater.
East Ridge, which finished sixth in the state, is expected to be the top team in the conference and the section. The Raptors return on a 16-meet win streak in duals and bring everyone back from last season. Stillwater and Mounds View are also expected to be strong as well.