FRENCHTOWN — Swimming is a family affair for the Lewis sisters.
The duo at Frenchtown High School put together a big performance at the state swimming meet in Great Falls over the weekend, with both athletes each winning two individual state titles and also winning together on a relay.
Frenchtown co-op's with Missoula Big Sky and Loyola Sacred Heart and competes at the Class AA level, and this latest run was Addy's final as a senior while Elly just began her career as a freshman.
"I was going into it thinking that this will be fun, something new instead of just club all of the time, and my expectations were blown (away)," Elly said. "It was so much fun, I got so much closer to my teammates. State was just another level, I'd never experienced it before and I can't wait to do it again next."
Addy won the 50 yard freestyle and 100 butterfly while Elly won the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle.
It was the first time the two got to compete together at state.
"I knew my senior year would be special because I got to be in high school with her and we'd get to swim at state together, but it never crossed my mind that it was going to be this great of a season," Addy said. "I knew we were both hard workers and were just going to have fun and soak it up one more year together but this season blew all of my expectations away."
For Addy, it was the perfect way to cap off her high school career before she's bound to start swimming at the college level at Washington State in the Pac-12 next year.
"Going into that recruiting trip, I fell in love with the coaches and people there," Addy said. "That was the big winner for me. Meeting the team and the coach, this is who I want to spend my next four years of my life with and continue my swimming career with, and being close to home is also a big thing for me because I wanted to be able to come home and see my little sisters swim and be close to family so it was a no-brainer decision.
"I'm so excited for the next four years at Washington State and I still can't really believe I'm going to the Pac-12 but it's amazing."
The family has bounced around Montana as well before moving to Frenchtown in 2016. Born in Dillon and having lived in Sheridan as well, Addy has blossomed into one of the best swimmers in the state, and all of that started when she picked up swimming at 8 years old when the family lived in Havre.
"Super cold there, so little first grader Addy had too much energy so my parents put me in the pool because we were always around Flathead Lake so it was more water safety and we've never looked back since," she said.
Since moving to Frenchtown, Lewis has competed in club swimming with the Missoula Aquatic Club as she grew in the sport.
After watching her sister compete, Elly soon followed, and in Addy's final high school race in the 400 freestyle relay, they brought home the gold, with each sister swimming a leg in the race.
A fitting end for a special run.
"I've been chasing her for most of my swim career. I started in Havre just like her because if she did it, I sat at the pool and watched her and I wanted to start too so I've been chasing her my whole career and always looked up to her as a role model and to finally say I got to be on her last high school race with her is just insane," Elly said. "She is such an amazing athlete and I get to be there and I get to be right with her and do it. It was awesome."
It'll be more club swimming now for the sisters before Addy ultimately embarks for college.
But for one weekend, it was a shared experience for the sisters to show how far they've come in the sport they love.
"I can't really believe on how far swimming has taken me," Addy said. "It's a sport that has just kept giving and I'm so grateful for it. It's crazy that 8-year-old Addy just did it for the love of it and now I'm going to go swim collegiately."
"Honestly I couldn't imagine our family without swimming," Elly added. "Our parents have gotten so involved with it and we're known as the sisters around the team. When a new swimmer comes we're like yeah we're the three sisters and here are our parents and it's so much fun. It gives you a spot to be and a place to call home."