Berwick’s Montana wins high school girls shot put at Penn Relays

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]

The chance to square off against premier competition in big events seems to drive Payden Montana to perform at her best.

Thursday, it led the Berwick star thrower to big things.

Montana not only broke her own school record, she finally broke the 50-foot mark by unleashing a throw of 50-7 to win the high school girls shot put competition at the prestigious Penn Relays.

“It was several girls and they were all pretty close in PRs (personal records),” Montana said. “I think that’s why I did well. I like big competition. That seems to make me perform better.”

It was the second straight year the Wyoming Valley Conference came away from the Penn Relays with a first-place finish.

Before graduating, former Coughlin standout Madisyn Hawkins won the 2017 high school girls pole vault by clearing 12-7.5, while Pittston Area’s Abby Norwillo finished third as a junior last year with a height of 12-3.5.

Norwillo came back to match that 12-3.5 Thursday and finished fifth in the high school girls pole vault, which Alana Carrol of Averill Park High School in New York won with a height of 12-11.5.

Montana entered the Penn Relays, an invitation-only event that regularly boasts national and international fields, as the second seed in the shot put behind Shelby Bigsby of Montclair High School in New Jersey.

That only fueled the fire of Montana, the defending PIAA Class 3A shot put champion who will be throwing for Penn State next season.

“They went by indoor (track championships) numbers and this past indoor season, I was second in the nation,” Montana said. “We were only a couple of inches apart. I was hoping to challenge her (Bigsby) this time.”

Her winning throw Thursday came on her third and final attempt of preliminaries, and nobody else matched it through the finals. It turned was the fourth time this season Montana broke one of her own school records — right after she set a new Berwick discus standard with a throw of 153-4.5 in a victory over Meyers on Tuesday.

“Yes, she’s done it again. She keeps breaking them,” Berwick coach Bob Calarco said. “I’m very proud of her, but I’m also very happy for her. She has worked tediously. If there was ever a model of what a Division 1 athlete is, she’s that model. She’s committed herself to being the best there is.”

That means all-time.

Thursday’s throw inched Montana closer to the 38-year-old PIAA Class 3A championship record of 50-1.25 set by Trinity’s Elaine Sobansky in 1980 and the overall record of 50-10.75 set by Center’s Allyn Laughlin in Class 2A in 2006.

“I’m only four inches away from it now,” Montana said. “I definitely want to get it, and then some.”


Coughlin 81, Wyoming Area 69

Jevone Young and Cole Horan won two individual events and the Crusaders won their first meet of the season.

Horan won the 110 hurdles and the long jump, while Young took the shot put and discus throws as Coughlin improved to 1-4.

GAR 77, Northwest 71

Curtis Smith won the 200 and 400 dashes, the high jump and was on the winning 1,600 relay team to lift the Grenadiers to victory Tuesday.


Coughlin 79, Wyoming Area 70

Emma Fortune won the 800 and 1,600 runs as the Crusaders edged the Warriors.

Maddy Resciniti set a new Wyoming Area school record with a discus throw of 107-0 and also won the shot put and javelin throws. Shelby Stackhouse was a double winner for the Warriors, taking the 110 hurdles and the high jump.

Northwest 112, GAR 25

Tess Edwards won the 800 run and triple jump and and anchored the winning 3,200 relay to spark the Rangers in a Tuesday meet.


Crestwood 17, Pittston Area 2

Natasha Koslop had six goals and Emily Roberts added four for Crestwood,

Lily Savoy and Bailey Jordan scored for Pittston Area.

Dallas 11, Coughlin 8

Lauren Delamater scored four goals and Sam Banks and Melinda Ratchford netted two apiece for Dallas.

Jolene Ulichney had three goals for Coughlin. Ashley Chase and Kendall Pearage scored two each.


Crestwood 3, Wyoming Valley West 2

Julien Lacoste and Alex Covelens won at second and third singles, respectively, while Brayden Fenwick and Noah Partington prevailed at second doubles to lift the Comets over the Spartans.

Tunkhannock 4, MMI Prep 0

Alex Keiser overcame a first-set loss at No. 2 singles to rally for the win in the Tigers’ sweep.


Tunkhannock 3, Nanticoke Area 0

Avery Billings made nine kills and Paul Binner finished with nine assists as the Tigers swept to a 25-14, 25-10, 25-16 victory. Stephen Kirby served five aces in the win.

Carlos Castillo had five kills and eight digs for the Trojans, who also received six blocks and nine assists from Tyler Rushton.


Crestwood 3, Wyoming Valley West 2

SINGLES — 1. Nick Bazadona (WVW) def. Brandon Krupa 0-6, 6-2, 6-2; 2. 2. Julien Lacoste (CRE) def. Aidan Temple 6-2, 6-2; 3. Alex Covelens (CRE) def. Brandon Richie 7-6 (7-5), 6-1

DOUBLES — 1. Colin Kultys/Bill Elko (WVW) def. Anthony Ruggeri/Jordan Miale 6-2, 6-1; 2. Brayden Fenwick/Noah Partington (CRE) def. Cavan Temple/Noah Cussatt 6-2, 6-1

Tunkhannock 4, MMI Prep 0

SINGLES — 1. Vitto Sica (TUN) def. Christian Badamo 6-3, 6-0; 2. Alex Keiser (TUN) def. Zander Speak 1-6, 6-1, 6-3; 3. Logan Helsel (TUN) def. Hu Soltau 6-0, 6-2

DOUBLES — 1. Ethan Sickler/Dalton Yeust (TUN) def. Ryan McNelis/Peter Walyzo 7-5, 6-3; 2. No contest

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski