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2013 Spring Preview: Osifuye, Abodunde, Waterhouse lead talented field of returners to Woodbury boys track and field team

Abiola Abodunde returns to the Royals this spring. Abodunde earned All-State in the triple jump last year and helped the Royals 1600-meter relay team take second in the state.

The Woodbury boys track and field team will likely be one to keep an eye on this spring.

Despite losing standouts Kyle Haugen, Dimeji Iselewa, Davis Johnson, Luke Wittman and Joe Mohrbacher to graduation last spring, the Royals return most of their top performers to the fold this season.

"We need to work hard and avoid injury, if we can do it, this should be a good year," said Woodbury head coach Jim Scott, in his 23rd year with the program.

Key athletes returning to the Royals this season include: John Osifuye, Abiola Abodunde, Matt Waterhouse, Quran Al-Hameed, Kyle Schmidt, Josh McClain, Tucker Benjamin, KeyShawn Lee, Ladi Lawal, Taylor Voit, Nathan Orf and Nick Wareham.

A year ago, Johnson and Abodunde both earned All-State honors in two events each.

Abodunde earned All-State in the triple jump, taking fifth place with a mark of 44 feet, 4.5 inches and also teamed up with Johnson, Waterhouse and Haugen to take second place in the 1600-meter relay with a time of 3 minutes, 21.08 seconds. Wayzata won the race with a 3:18.36 time. Johnson was also All-State in the 300-meter hurdles.

A senior this year, Waterhouse also reached the state meet a year ago - in the 400-meter dash, taking 17th in the preliminaries with a time of 50.58.

Overall, the Woodbury boys took fifth place in the Section 4AA championships and fifth place in the Suburban East Conference championships. Stillwater was the section champion and Forest Lake won the SEC title.

Scott said Forest Lake, Stillwater, White Bear Lake and Roseville will be the teams to beat in the conference and Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Roseville and North St. Paul will be among the best in Section 4AA.

The season is supposed to begin on Thursday, April 4, with an invitational at Woodbury High School. The Royals next meet, beyond that, is Tuesday, April 9, again at Woodbury. However, it's all prelude to the SEC championship, which will be held May 21 and 23 at East Ridge, and the Section 4AA meet, which is set for May 28 and 30 at Stillwater High School.