Heading into its second year as an official collegiate track and field program in 2014, Georgia Regents University will have a four-time state champion in its fold.
Thursday, Augusta Christian’s Grant Newman signed his letter of intent with the Jaguars.
“I think he’s going to be a very strong piece of that foundation,” Augusta Christian coach Charles Cooper said.
As a junior in 2012, Newman won South Carolina Independent School Association titles in the 400-meter hurdles and the long jump. He repeated in the 400 hurdles this year, adding the triple jump crown to his résumé and finished second in the long jump.
Newman and the coaching staff kept in touch during the Lions’ track season and after Newman toured the campus, his mind was set.
“It’s a very nice college,” said Newman. “Now that they’re getting a brand-new facility, a multiple-story complex kind of helped close the deal.”
Even as a four-time state champion, Newman’s potential appears yet to be fully realized, factoring in that the Lions train on the school’s football field and not a track.
“I think I’ll improve a lot being able to use a track every day and have a specific event I’ll be working at rather than one day on this, one day on this,” said Newman, a budding business management major. “I think I’ll be focusing on jumps more and maybe hurdles. I think jumps will be the main point.”
Being close to home will help smooth Newman’s transition into the college setting.
“I think it will be good,” he said. “It won’t be really a drastic change, so I won’t be flustered with everything changing.”