By Tyler Stotsky
Joe Postwaite closed the indoor portion of his senior season at the top of the track and field world during the NCAA Division II National Championships on March 14th. Postwaite became the second national champion in Lake Erie Storm history, following the footsteps of former teammate Jamil Dudley, who captured two high jump titles.
Postwaite conquered his first national title with a season-best jump of 15.52 meters (50'11") in Birmingham, Alabama. Postwaite defeated Devontae Steele of Texas A&M University-Commerce, who had a jump of 15.47 meters (50'9.25"). He entered the event as the six seed with the mark that he set back at the SPIRE Division II Challenge, 15.24 meters (50').
"At Nationals, I found my zone. I believed in myself and stayed focused. I was prepared to jump whatever I needed to in order to win, said Postwaite. His head coach, Ryan Rademacher added his thought about his performance at the national meet. "His performance at nationals was right where it needed to be, consistent. It was nothing too spectacular but it was still impressive on that stage. I always tell my athletes if you do what you did to get to this meet, you will be fine".
The Rochester, New York native took the next step after he finished second in the indoor triple jump at last year's National Championships. He jumped a career-high and school record 15.70 meters (51'6 1/4") as a junior.
The National Championship gave Postwaite his fifth All-American honor throughout his career, both indoor and outdoor.
Rademacher shared his thoughts on Joe's season as a whole, "This was actually Joe's most inconsistent and unsuccessful season in recent years, outside of the national championship. He had a rough year with several responsibilities outside of track as an RA, captain on the team, leader of many groups etc. that was taking a toll on his performances".
Postwaite agreed with his coach about the season, "This season was very rough. I learned sometimes you have to lose to win. I lost GLIACS but I didn't give up, I trusted my training and I knew I was mental and physical strong".
Rademacher spoke about the importance of training and how Joe trusted the training, "I spoke with Joe early in the season and asked him if he is ready to make some sacrifices and have a rough indoor season to make a shot at winning an indoor national championship. He was on board. Belief is a huge contributor to success in track and field, and Joe has believed in me and his training since day one. So many athletes have the tolls to be successful, but do not understand the amount of work outside of their sport it takes to become a champion".
Rademacher told Joe that he has the potential to be a champion early in his career, "As a freshman, I told Joe he would win a national championship after missing out of the national championship line up indoor AND outdoor, if he was willing to listen and believe, and here we are three years later with the champ!"
Along with triple jump, Postwaite competed in the high jump at the National meet. He entered the meet as the 13th seed with a season-high jump of 2.10 meters, set at the Kent State meet in February. He finished 10th overall with a jump of 2.07 meters.
Postwaite took home four titles in the triple jump throughout the season at the Kent State (December); SPIRE Northcoast, SPIRE Midwest and the SPIRE Division 2 Challenge meets. He also won the high jump title at Akron.
As Joe mentioned earlier, he finished second at the GLIAC Championships in the high jump and the triple jump.
"It [Winning the National Championship] was a great moment for him and it was well deserved".