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Johnathan Osifuye's jump of 22 feet, 3 inches in the preliminaries of the long jump held up as the best jump of the day and crowned him as the state champion at last spring’s Class AA State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Bulletin file photo)

2013 Year in Review: Osifuye is Woodbury's first-ever state track champ

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In 2013 Woodbury’s Johnathan Osifuye leapt into the record books to become the Royals’ track teams first-ever individual state title winner.

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The 2013 graduate’s jump of 22 feet, 3 inches in the preliminaries of the long jump held up as the best jump of the day and crowned him as the state champion at last spring’s Class AA State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.

“I never would have thought about this a couple of years ago,” Osifuye said after the meet. “Up until last year I had scratched almost every single long jump I had done.”

In his first state meet trip Osifuye beat out section rival Akeem Sirleaf of North St. Paul for the state title and anxiously waited to hear the distances of Sirleaf’s final jump before pumping a fist in celebration. Osifuye still had a jump to complete, but it didn’t matter at that point, the title was his.

“We’re excited for John,” Woodbury head coach Jim Scott said. “It was nice that he had that and he gets to go on the podium now.”

Eight athletes qualified for the state meet from Section 4AA and three made the state finals. Osifuye had a personal best jump of 23 feet, ½ inch at the section meet to place second. Sirleaf finished sixth at the section meet. Akintade made the finals at the state meet and finished ninth with a jump of 21-3.

Osifuye’s title completed a busy day that garnered two all-state honors. In addition to winning the long jump, Osifuye ran legs on the Royals’ 400-meter relay and the 800-meter relay teams. At the state meet, teams are awarded points and all-state honors for finishing in the top nine places in each event. Woodbury’s 800-meter relay reached the finals, but did not finish after dropping the baton on an exchange and the 400-meter relay team of Quaran Al-Hameed, Abiola Abodunde, Matt Waterhouse and Osifuye finished fifth, nabbing all-state, with a time of 43.29 seconds.

As a team, the Woodbury boys took eighth place in state.

The Royals finished with 27 points. Stillwater won the team title with 65 points and Forest Lake took second with 59.5 points. Wayzata finished third with 57 points.

In addition to Osifuye’s heroics, Woodbury’s 1600-meter relay of Matthew Waterhouse, Abiola Abodunde, KeyShawn Lee and Oladipupo Lawal shattered a school record to place second.

Woodbury finished in 3:17.88 to earn all-state honors in the event – and set a new school record by eight-tenths of a second.

-Nick Gerhardt

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Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
(651) 319-4505
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