Najeaya Singleton has been on a mission her entire high school career to succeed at everything tossed her way.
The Vineland High School senior describes herself as a humble, but competitive person that gives 100 percent no matter the situation.
That includes being one of the best shot putter and discus thrower in New Jersey.
Singleton’s efforts were rewarded last week when she signed a National Letter of Intent to NCAA Division I St. John’s University in New York on a full scholarship for track and field.
“Academically, I want to stay on top of my grades and get my degree,” Singleton said when asked her main goals at St. John’s. “Athletically, I want to keep striving to be better and get stronger and keep going further.”
This spring, Singleton captured the South Jersey Group IV individual title in both the shot put with a top distance of 41 feet, 4.75 inches, and the discus with a throw of 134-11.
Singleton also seized the state Group IV crown in both of her specialties — the discus with a throw of 139-8 and the shot put in 43-5.75.
“Her mindset is very strong and she always is concentrating on what she has to do,” Vineland throwing coach Greg Geraci said. “She is very athletic and takes everything very seriously, both in school and in the field.”
Singleton won the Cumberland County Championships in the girls shot put with a top distance of 39-00. She also placed second in the discus with a throw of 107-10.
The senior standout also placed second in the shot put at the Meet of Champions in June with a throw of 143-2. She finished fourth in the discus at 44-9.75.
“I don’t like to talk about the things that I have accomplished because then it feels like I am bragging,” Singleton said. “I just always do my best and take the feedback from my coaches to continue to get better.”
During last year’s indoor track season, Singleton won the South Jersey (44-9.75) and state (46-01.5) Group IV championships in the shot put. She finished sixth at the Meet of Champions in February with a put of 39-7.25.
Singleton, a first-team Press All-Star for both indoor and outdoor track as a junior, is ready for her senior season to get underway.
“I feel like I will carry that success, maybe even more,” Singleton said. “I have been working really hard (this offseason), and I am getting my technique together, so I can throw harder and do better.”
Geraci has been Singleton’s throwing coach since before she started her freshman season. But because Geraci was busy starting a business that produces walking sticks made from natural wood, he had to miss her stellar junior season. He will coach her again this season.
“I would bet my house that she can win the states in the discus and the shot put again,” Geraci said when asked about Singleton’s upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons.
Singleton, who will pursue a major in forensics science or biology, also has a personal aim of throwing the discus 50 feet. Her personal best is 46.
“I am a resilient person,” Singleton said. “I am hard core when I am ready to compete. I just need to stay mentally focused and consistent.”