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2014 Spring Preview: Woodbury boys track team reloading after graduating 18 seniors

Woodbury’s boys track and field team set new precedents last season at the state meet and will try to replicate that kind of success with a new group after graduating 18 seniors from last year’s team.

The Royals crowned a state champion in the long jump with Johnathan Osifuye taking the top spot with a jump of 22 feet, 3 inches, finished second in the 1600-meter relay with a school-record time of 3 minutes, 17.88 seconds and placed fifth in the 400-meter relay, improving on its sixth seeding.

Osifuye became the first individual state champion for the program last season and also ran a leg on the 400 relay.

Matthew Waterhouse, Abiola Abodunde, KeyShawn Lee and Oladipupo Lawal set a new school record in the event by eight-tenths of a second. Just Lawal will return from that relay team this season.

The 400 relay team of Quaran Al-Hameed, Abodunde, Waterhouse and Osifuye finished fifth at state with a time of 43.29 seconds, .01 seconds behind fourth-place finisher Irondale.

The two performances came following a disaster in the 800-meter relay. Woodbury did not complete the event after a botched exchanged resulted in a dropped baton. The Royals’ relay team of Osifuye, Waterhouse, Abodunde and Lee entered the event with the best qualifying time of 1:28.56 after preliminaries, which established a new school record.

Woodbury finished eighth at the Class 2A state meet last season with 27 points.

“We’re a very inexperienced team after losing so many seniors, but return a good nucleus to build around,” Royals head coach Jim Scott said. “We will need to stay healthy and work hard to be able to compete in our section and conference.”

Scott enters his 24th season as head coach at Woodbury and will rely on captains Taylor Voit, Lawal, Nathan Orf and Steven Bunch.

The Royals will have strength in the distance events with Voit and Nick Wareham, who both competed at the state cross-country meet in the fall.

—Nick Gerhardt