MAPLE SHADE – Ronetta Hunter has to keep adjusting her season goals.
The senior on the Burlington Township High School Track and Field team came into the season want to throw the shot put over 44 feet.
She cleared 44 in late April at the Penn Relays and went even farther at the Rowan Invitational two weeks ago.
“I’ve set so many high goals for myself, to be able to reach those goals and proving it (Saturday) I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it,” Hunter said.
On Saturday, Hunter won the shot put with a personal best and meet record throw of 45-07.50 at the Burlington County Open Championships.
She broke the meet record of Jessica Woodard of Cherokee 42-8.25 at Maple Shade High School.
The throw was also the fourth best in South Jersey history behind Woodard’s throw of 47-1.75 in 2013, Janiece Rose of Delsea with a 46-4.00 in 2011 and Nacole Moore of Bridgeton with a 46-1.50 in 2000
Lenape won the girls’ team title for the 7th time in the last nine years with a meet record 162, points. Rancocas Valley claimed the boys’ championship with 118 points.
Jasmine Staten of Lenape won four girls’ events with gold in the 200 meters (25.17), 400 (56.63), long jump (16-09.50) and 100 hurdles (15.30).
Zakiyy Williams of Rancocas Valley took first in the boys’ long jump (20-10.75) and triple jump (45-04.75).
Hunter, a senior who will attend Rider University to throw, also won the discus with a 122-05 mark.
The progression for Hunter has been steady and staggering.
Hunter threw 44-2.00 for seventh place in the shot put at Franklin Field. She beat her previous personal best of 43-10.75 when taking fourth at the indoor Meet of Champions.
Two weeks ago at Glassboro, Hunter launched a 44-11.50 to beat her personal best by 9.5 inches.
And now topping 45 feet.
She is peaking at the right time.
“I’m trying to work hard and hit the weight room, work hard in practice and keep doing what I have to do to make sure I reach my goals and hit my next PR,” she said.
At Rider, Hunter will throw the discus, shot and possibly the javelin and hammer.
“I hope to do all kinds of things when I go to Rider,” she said. “Whatever they see what I can do, I will do it.”
Hunter will do much more than throw and compete. She plans to major in pre-med. She hopes one day to be a doctor.
“It is between pediatrician and an allergist doctor,” Hunter said. “I’m leaning more toward allergist doctor because my family, my father and brother suffer worse than I do, sometimes they can’t breathe. It is bad.
“So I’ve taken it into consideration of going into that field and looking for new medicine to help cure some sorts of allergies that people have.”
Hunter’s parents, Danette and Roger, are from Guyana in South America. Her mom was a track and field star, competing in the long jump, 100 and 200 and she played basketball. Her dad threw the shot put and was a soccer player.
“They moved to the states so they could have a better life for us,” said Hunter, whowas born in Newark.
Hunter does dream of one day throwing in the Olympics. She said she isn’t thinking about getting a Guyana citizenship, though, to compete.
“If I ever could make the Olympics, and that would be awesome, I would represent the United States.”
Understandably, with personal records falling seemingly every time she picks up the shot, Hunter is looking forward to the sectional championships this weekend at Egg Harbor Township.
“I’m trying to maintain that 45 and stay around it and my next goal would be probably 46,” Hunter said. “I just keep going one inch after the next.”
BURLINGTON COUNTY OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Winning teams: Lenape (girls) 162, points; Rancocas Valley (boys) 118 points.
Big Individual Winners: (Girls) Jasmine Staten of Lenape won the 200 meters (25.17), 400 (56.63), long jump (16-09.50) and 100 hurdles (15.30); (Boys) Zakiyy Williams of Rancocas Valley long jump (20-10,75) and triple jump (45-04.75).