Newman inks to run for Layne at Milligan University

Published 9:05 pm Friday, April 30, 2021

It was a special day in many ways for Elizabethton senior Craig Newman who not only was able to sign to continue his running career at Milligan University but to do it with his Cyclone coach who also happens to be his father, Mark Newman, beaming from ear to ear with a big smile that not only one of his athletes but his own son was getting to have the opportunity presented to him.

Before family, friends, and teammates, Newman officially signed his paperwork to become a Buff runner for a very good coach in Chris Layne at Milligan University.

“Coach Layne has a great track record with the people that have come to run for him helping them to improve themselves when they didn’t know they had it in them,” Newman commented about being able to have the valuable instruction that Layne will provide.

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“Everyone that I have talked to there has said to just trust the process because Coach Layne knows what he is doing and they advised me to follow what he says to do.”

Newman was also happy that he will be able to compete close to home as he doesn’t consider himself someone that looks to get far from his family and his roots.

“I am kind of like a homebody – I don’t go out that much and I am very blessed to stay close to home to continue my career,” the senior runner said.

When asked about his strengths when it came to running, Newman said that he has always been better at longer-distance runs than shorter ones. He believes that competitiveness at the next level will be the distinguishing difference between the high school level and the collegiate level due to the fact there will be older athletes with more running experience and having endured stronger practices that college requires.

Newman was thankful that he was able to train and compete under his father while at Elizabethton.

.”My dad has done a lot for me during my running and cross-country career while in high school,” Newman added. “It has been fun being an athlete on the team here at Elizabethton. It has been really helpful and encouraging to run with these guys.”

For Coach Newman, just seeing his son accomplish something that he has long yearned for brought a small trickle of tears as he reflected on the day.

“Man I am just overjoyed for him,” Newman said of his son. “Just knowing that he has dreamed about running in college as well I just can’t explain it. There is such joy there. I am his biggest fan.

“To know this is his last year running in high school and to know that he has something better ahead of him – it’s bittersweet. It’s more bitter than it is sweet because I am losing him here but you know God has so many more plans for him in college in the talent that he has.

“He has more talent in his little finger than I had in my whole body. I am just so tickled and pleased and so proud of him.”

In advice that Newman has been giving to his athlete and son about the process of moving to the next level, he said that he has expressed what a job it is in taking that giant leap.

“The hard work – it’s a job – going to that next level is a job and it’s what you have to eat, breath, and sleep as well as do your studies which are the top thing he is looking at. The running will be there but it is going to be a job and he is ready to go.

“He (Coach Layne) has a hungry and eager athlete coming to him and he will absorb every bit of information like a sponge from Coach Layne. I couldn’t be happier that he is running for Coach Layne.”