Louth had a group of 12 swimmers qualifying for individual events at the prestigious Midlands District Swimming Championships.
Representing Louth were Daniel Challis (15), Tom Harrop (15), Lois Kemp (15), Lily Miller (15), Marie Schneider (15), Sofie Schneider (15), Kieran Young (15), Emily Patch (16), Sam Swaby (16), William McIntyre (16), Adam McIntyre (19) and Tom Richardson (22).
The 12 Louth swimmers competed against very stiff competition from all East and West Midlands counties, with some of the swimmers being GB representatives.
Saturday saw Louth’s younger boys first up in the Mens 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay event. Louth Boys Captain Will McIntyre led the squad off in a great time of 56.18 and he was closely followed in by Dan Challis (56.83), Tom Harrop (58.24) and Sam Swaby (58.63). This put them 14th overall.
Emily Patch and Sofie Schneider were next up in the 400m Freestyle, which they finished 30th and 31st respectively in the 15/16 age group.
In the Mens 100m Butterfly Daniel Challis (25th 15/16) and Adam McIntyre (18th 17/over age group) competed.
Sam Swaby had his first individual swim in the 100m Breaststroke, finishing a creditable 12th in the 15/16 age group and Louth had three swimmers in the Mens 200m Freestyle; Tom Harrop (50th - 15/16); Dan Challis (31st - 15/16) and Will McIntyre again (20th -15/16).
Marie Schneider was up for Louth in the Womens 100m Backstroke where she finished 31st in the 15/16 age group.
In the Mens 50m Backstroke event Louth had three swimmers representing the club; Kieran Young and Dan Challis finished up 14th equal in the 15/16 year group, gaining the exact same time – 31.02 (converted to 30.32).
Tom Richardson, the veteran of the group, has made the 50m Backstroke Final for a few years now and featured again finishing seventh in a time of 29.82 in the 17/over age group.
Emily Patch was Louth’s sole entrant in the Womens 100m Freestyle, where she finished 32nd in a large field of swimmers.
Five male swimmers for Louth went in the 50m Freestyle; Sam Swaby (14th 15/16); Dan Challis (28th 15/16); Tom Harrop (33rd 15/16); Kieran Young (35th 15/16) and Tom Richardson (35th 17/o).
William McIntyre narrowly missed his second final of the day in the Mens 200m Backstroke, ending up as 2nd Reserve, in 10th place in the heats. Kieran Young contested the same event; finishing 27th in the 15/16 age group and unfortunately Dan Challis was disqualified.
Emily Patch had a cracking final event of her day in the Womens 50m Butterfly. She ended up 25th in the 15/16 age group having been ranked a lot lower. She got an overall Pb in a time of 31.66 (converted to 31.06).
The Mens 4x100m Medley Relay team were in the last event of the day prior to the Finals and the Louth team were led off on Backstroke by Kieran Young (1.08.15); Sam Swaby swum the Breaststroke (1.16.49); Will McIntyre took the Butterfly (1.00.63) and Dan Challis the Freestyle leg (57.64). They were placed 12th overall.
Louth finished up with two finalists, including one bronze medal on day one.
The Sunday of the competition saw the Womens 4 x 100m Freestyle team of Sofie Schneider (1.04.61) Lily Miller (1.04.74); Marie Schneider (1.04.58) and Lois Kemp (1.06.78). They were placed 18th.
An under the weather Dan Challis came 30th in the next event, Mens 400m Freestyle (15/16).
Emily Patch swam in the Womens 100m Butterfly, which she finished in 28th place in the 15/16 age group.
Louth had high hopes next in the Mens 50m Breaststroke and the boys did not disappoint. Tom Harrop came 10th (2nd Reserve for Final 15/16) and Sam Swaby was placed fifth, so qualified outright for the Final later that evening. Sam bettered his placing and his time from the heats to fourth in the final in a Pb time of 31.72.
In the Mens 200m Individual Medley, Tom Harrop swam first and gained 38th place in the 15/16 age group. Dan Challis had to withdraw as he was still unwell. However, excitement mounted as Will McIntyre stepped up on the blocks to swim. Will is Louth’s only National Qualifier in the 400m Individual Medley. William needed a time of 2.15.90 and he achieved a time of 2.15.77, so another National entry time gained, along with fourth place in the 15/16 age group.
Will came fifth in the final with a slightly slower time.
Sofie Schneider and Emily Patch swam the Womens 200m Freestyle next and finished 38th and 46th respectively in the 15/16 age group. Marie Schneider swam in the 50m Backstroke. She had a great swim and finished up with a time of 32.99, which placed her 14th in the 15/16 age group.
William McIntyre was up again for Louth in the gruelling 200m Butterfly. He finished up being ninth in his age group.
In the 100m Freestyle. Dan Challis, who felt better now, swam really well and gained a great time of 57.21 (14th 15/16); Will McIntyre 57.27 (15th 15/16) and Tom Harrop 59.16 (34th 15/16).
Sofie Schneider and Emily Patch were in the water next, in the sprint event, 50m Freestyle. Sofie finished 32nd in a time of 29.74, with Emily just a couple of places behind, finishing 34th in a time of 29.86.
Louth had three girls in the Womens 200m Backstroke. First in for Louth was Lois Kemp, who paced her race well, never letting her stroke rate drop from start to finish and gained a great time of 2.35.58, finishing up 25th in the 15/16 age group, having been ranked 23 places below that before she got in the water.
Marie Schneider gained 35th place (2.38.11) and Lily Miller (2.39.10) was 38th (who also gained positions from her starting point), in the same age group.
Four swam for Louth in the Mens 50m Butterfly. Dan Challis set off first and ended up 28th (15/16 yrs). He was followed in by Adam McIntyre who had waited nearly all day for his only swim. Adam was just off his Pb time, gaining a good time of 28.84, finishing 27th in the 17/over age group.
Tom Richardson also in the 17/over age group, was next in for Louth, and like Adam had been waiting all day to swim this 50m sprint event! He managed an overall Pb time of 27.70 (converted to 27.00) and finished in 13th position in that older age group, having started off only being ranked 22nd.
Will McIntyre was on fire and got into yet another Final – finishing in third position in the younger age group of 15/16 years, in a time of 27.76. Will contested the Final later on, coming a fabulous second place. He also gained another overall Pb time – finishing with a time of 27.18 (26.48 converted).
Sofie Schneider finished the individual swims off with the energy-sapping 800m Freestyle distance event. Sofie battled her way to finish in 19th position in the 15/16 age group in a time of 10.07.75.
The final event of the day, which preceded the finals, was the Womens 4 x 100m Medley Relay. Marie Schneider led off on Backstroke (1.13.93). She was followed by Lily Miller on Breaststroke (1.27.13); Lois Kemp on Butterfly (1.21.09) and Sofie Schneider on Freestyle (1.08.57). The girls finished up in 17th place.