HELENA — Helena Capital High runner Bret Morris never experienced a crosstown rivalry like when the Bruins face off with Helena in his former hometown of Houston.

In Houston, a large metropolitan area with plenty of high schools, Morris said traditional rivalries such as Helena-Capital didn't exist.

With so many competitive school in close proximity, each contest was just another event.

"I've lived in Houston most of my life, and track down there in Houston is warmer," Morris said. "There were so many schools down there, it was just one versus another."

Morris, who runs in the 100 meters, 200 and is part of the 4x100 relay team, moved here from Texas in the middle of last summer.

He felt he had adjusted well to the competitive dynamics having a crosstown rival, and enjoyed the experience Tuesday afternoon in Vigilante Stadium.

Morris set a personal record in the 100 meters, finishing first, recording a time of 11.09 seconds. Morris also captured first place in the 200 in 22.57, another personal record.

The Capital boys won the dual meet with a cumulative team score of 75-70, and the Bruins girls dominated Helena 95-55.

Capital girls coach Dick McMahon felt his girls significantly improved their times trying to compete in the 400 with Helena's Odessa Zentz.

Bruins runners Mckinlee Mihelish and Sydney Sheridan couldn't out-do Zentz, but McMahon utilized the intrinsic motivation to get both to qualify for the Class AA state meet in the 400.

Mihelish recorded a time 1:00.58, a personal record. Sheridan recorded a personal best of 1:00.24 seconds, which also sends her and Mihelish to the Class AA state meet.

Helena's Jamie Pickens is experiencing her first-ever season competing in track after typically playing softball in the spring. The star basketball player quickly made the change in sports a successful transition.

Pickens captured first-place in the shot put with a distance of 34 feet, 4½ inches, and in the javelin recording a distance of 121-5.

This was the last ever crosstown Pickens, a senior who is signed to the University of Montana to play basketball, ever experienced with a Helena team.

"I am all about trying new things, and playing softball was fun so I just decided to do track," Pickens said. "I just wanted to try something new I guess."

She admits the stress level is significantly reduced from basketball. Pickens said she is working hard to take on a new sport.

"I still compete in track and try my hardest to compete, but my stress level is lower than during basketball season," Pickens said. "Competing in a track is harder than you would think but coach Scott Evans, Sheila Williams and my teammates are still helping me out and showing me the ropes."

Pickens said the competitive atmosphere between track and basketball is different, yet her desire to win is still the same, regardless of the sport.

"The atmosphere is different, but it isn't a big deal if you don't do very good," Pickens said. "I am so competitive, I want to win in everything."

Jason Blasco is the lead prep sports reporter for the Helena Indepedent-Record and a sports reporter for the 406mtsports.com network.

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