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Helena crosstown swimming rivalry unlike any other

Posted at 1:21 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 16:33:12-05

HELENA — At the YMCA in Helena, the wackiest, loudest, crosstown event takes place. Crosstown swimming is unlike any other Helena crosstown event because the teams are so bonded.

Julie Youngblood is the coach for both Helena High and Helena Capital, so the two teams practice together but compete separately. At crosstown, the teams compete in unique relays, water polo, and have a spirit competition.

“It’s kind of like one team splits into two and ruthlessly competes in the weirdest ways possible,” says Capital swimmer Ella Shropshire.

In comparison to crosstown football or basketball the rivalry operates much differently.

“It’s very different because we practice together. So we’re not as much strangers to each other. It’s kind of like we’re all friends so the rivalry is more of a friendly competition,” she says.

Since the team practices as one, they celebrate each other's accomplishments.

“The improvements that we’ve made. I’ve seen a lot of swimmers barely able to swim, and now they can swim a 200 in under three minutes so, it’s pretty amazing to see,” says Helena High swimmer Devin Goestsch.