DeVier Posey left the 2008 Ohio high school track finals as an individual state champion – and disappointed.
Though Posey, a class of ’08 football signee for the Ohio State University at wideout, won the 400-meter dash for his Cincinnati La Salle squad, the Lancers took second in Division I.
Cleveland Heights amassed 44 points, three more than La Salle, to take the Division I title.
Posey, who earned 20 of his school's 41 team points on his own, still knew that losing his final team athletic event as a Lancer would hurt for an extended period of time.
“I felt we could have done better, but it’s in the books now,” he said after his last race of three in the final round. “We practiced hard every day, and I just think we had a good number of kids up here and we had a successful season. It’s still OK. It’s going to burn for a long time, but it’s all right.”
Despite his team’s coming up short, nothing will be able to take away Posey’s performance, which included the win in the 400 meters. He was in third place approaching the wire but burst ahead in the final stretch on the way to earning the gold medal in 47.41 seconds, just sixth-hundredths ahead of Thomas Murdaugh of Dublin Scioto.
Sophomores William Henry of Trotwood-Madison and Ryan Barber of Westerville South placed third and fourth, respectively.
“I was just thinking coming around the curve, it’s like, ‘This is my last time running this event, so I have to give it my all. However good I do, I do.’ ” Posey said. “I felt two sophomores coming up and I was like, I just saw my whole career coming before my eyes like I was dying or something, and I was like, ‘Uh uh. I have to win something up here.’ ”
After the race, Posey sent a heartfelt chest thump to the stands and his mother, Julie.
“That’s my girl,” he said. “She’s been here every time. I love that lady with all of my heart. She’s always going to be there for me.”
Posey also placed fourth in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. In the 100, he finished in 10.87 seconds, sitting just one-tenth behind winner James Allen of Youngstown East. In the 200, his last race of the day, he took 21.86 seconds to finish, 0.45 behind champion Blake Heriot of Gahanna Lincoln.
“I gave everything I had, though,” Posey said. “I can’t lie. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like I had anything. In the 100, it was the beginning. I didn’t get out of the blocks. In the 200, I don’t know what it was. I just raced some good guys. Sometimes, when it comes down to winning or losing, sometimes you just race better people. I’m not saying they’re better than me, they just ran a better race. That’s what it came down to. Those guys are really good. I just have to take my hat off to them. They worked hard just like I do.”
Posey was proud that he came away with one gold medal.
“It was important,” he said. “Every race is important. I came up short in two, but just winning one, I needed it and we needed it, too.”
As for the grueling nature of running six events in two days against the very best the state of Ohio has to offer, Posey made no bones about what it took out of him physically.
“Oh man,” he said. “I tell you, this Sunday, I’m going to be in my bed all day. It took a lot out of me. I’m not going to lie. But it was my last time at it, so I can say, ‘Forget it – let’s go.’ ”
As for other future Buckeyes on the day, none had a better showing than Corey Linsley. The class of 2009 lineman from Youngstown Boardman participated in the Division I shot put and placed in third with a toss of 58 feet, 5½ inches, placing behind Posey’s teammate Chandler Burden, who won with a throw of 61-2½. Burden also won the discus to match Posey's 20 team points for La Salle.
Chris Fields, the class of 2009 wideout commit from Painesville Harvey, competed on a relay squad in the 4x200 that placed fifth in Division II with a time of 1:30.76.
Also, Amber Stokes, a women’s basketball commit who is a senior at Gahanna Lincoln, took fifth in the Division I long jump with a leap of 18-2¾.