Return to Headlines


UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - One of the most heavily recruited track and field athletes in Pennsylvania will compete at Penn State next year. Berwick Area High School Senior Payden Montana chose the Nittany Lions over Oklahoma and Virginia Tech at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Montana, the defending PIAA State Champion in the shot put with a throw of 47'3", has also made her mark nationally and internationally. She competed at the Under Armour national championships in NYC, where she placed 11th and she placed 7th in the New Balance outdoor national championships recently. She also competed in the Down Under Games in Sydney, Australia in the summer of 2016.

Montana has broken her own shot put record at Berwick numerous times and also holds the school record in the discus and javelin. She is a two-time district 2 gold medalist in the shot and also won the silver medal as a freshman.  She placed third in the shot at the PIAA meet as a sophomore and 5th in the discus and was third in the PIAA indoor shot put last year.

In addition, Montana has been Class President for four years and currently serves as Student Council President. She also served as Secretary of Student Council last year. She has been a member of the National Honor Society for four years, and has been an officer of that organization for two years.

Montana is also active in the community. Her service includes: the Santa Parade, decorating for homecoming, the Senior Citizen's Dinner at Thanksgiving, the food cupboard and assisting at the Valentine's Day Dance for Life Skills students.

She is also the only student in the history of Berwick Area High School to win an individual gold medal in a PIAA sport.