Payden Montana has seen an upward trajectory since last winter. She threw her then-PR of 44 feet, 3.75 inches at last year's indoor state meet.
As she moved to outdoors, the Berwick senior continued her improvement, culminating with a PR and an outdoor state title. At Shippensburg, she threw 47 feet, 3 inches for the win.
Once again this indoor season, Montana just kept getting better. She threw over 47 feet on three occasions before the state meet. Then on Sunday, Montana unleashed the best throw of her career, a toss of 49 feet, 5.25 inches to dominate the competition and capture indoor gold to go along with her outdoor title. She was over seven feet better than second place.
That also broke Heather Colyer's 1998 state meet record of 49 feet, 1.5 inches. It's the third best throw in Pennsylvania state history indoors behind just Karen Shump (52 feet, 4 inches in 2008) and Colyer's own indoor state record of 52 feet, 25.75 inches from 1997.
For Montana, her training was geared towards a big performance on Sunday.
"I was going for the state meet record," she said. "My training was ramping up for it."
Early on, she knew it was her day.
"My first throws were consistent: 45, 46, 47, and I knew I was getting ready to go huge. My big throw came in the first round of finals, so it was really exciting," she said.
It was a journey for Montana that started last season when she took third. She knew what the state meet record was. On Sunday, she took it for herself.
Her record-setting throw also came in a circle she'll be awfully familiar with in less than a year. Montana, a Penn State recruit, will call State College home come the fall.
"It's getting to feel like home," Montana said.