Lyme and Old Lyme are small Connecticut towns with deep Olympic roots. Austin Hack, Liam Corrigan, Sarah Trowbridge and Andrew Bolton may have rowed on the world stage, but in their earlier years they trained at the Fred Emerson Boathouse on Rogers Lake.
Austin Hack, a 2010 graduate of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, is a two-time Olympian. He competed at the 2016 and 2020 games
in Rio and Tokyo, placing fourth each time. Hack also competed at the World Championships four times, bringing home a bronze medal in 2013.
Liam Corrigan graduated Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2014, and raced in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside Austin Hack in the men’s eight. Corrigan raced twice in the U23 World Championships, and twice in the Youth World Championships.
Sarah Trowbridge, formerly of Blood Street Sculls, raced in the London 2012 Olympic Games. She placed 6th in the Women’s Double Sculls. Trowbridge graduated from Guilford High School and went on to row at the University of Michigan, where she and her team won back-to-back Big 10 Championships.
Andrew Bolton, a graduate of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, won gold in the 2008 World Championships and a silver medal in the lightweight 8+ at the 2003 World Championships. He was an alternate for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Bolton graduated from Marietta College and won medals in the Dad Vail Regatta in both the freshman 8+ and varsity 8+ events.
Old Lyme Rowing Association is home to both the Blood Street Sculls and Lyme-Old Lyme High School Rowing. Fred L. Emerson, Jr., commonly known as the “Father of Connecticut Rowing,” is responsible for starting the rowing program at Old Lyme High School. A former resident of Lyme, Emerson was a strong advocate for youth rowing, start-up programs, and women’s involvement in the sport. In addition to supporting the creation of many programs in the state, he also sponsored the Women’s Nationals on Rogers Lake in Old Lyme in 1971. Emerson’s generosity has impacted thousands of athletes, and will continue for generations to come.
Emerson’s philosophy of building program support through boosters and parental assistance resonates today with the relationship between Old Lyme Rowing Association, the high school program, and the town. Head Girls Coach, Director of Rowing for Blood Street Sculls and multiple national champion and world championship medalist Sculler Paul Fuchs describes this relationship as “synergistic,” and emphasizes the support that Old Lyme Rowing Association provides its junior athletes. The high school program currently has about 50 athletes, with an estimated total school enrollment of 430 students. Fuchs estimates that around 250 athletes, ranging from middle school students to adults, use the facilities at Rogers Lake each year.
Photos provided by Lyme-Old Lyme Rowing Association