August 24, 2016

US Men’s Eight, with Old Lyme’s Hack as Stroke, Qualifies for Saturday’s Olympic Final!

The US Men's Eight in action yesterday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action Monday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

UPDATE: 8/11, 12:30pm: The US Men’s Eight crushed the opposition in the repechage this morning and qualified for the Olympic final at 10:24 EST on Saturday, where they will meet Germany, England, The Netherlands, Poland and New Zealand. Go Austin! Go Team USA!

UPDATE 8/11, 6:30am: Austin’s race is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. EST this morning, but his mom, Barbara Hack, said at around 5:30 a.m. that they are, “Waiting to hear if the wind will cooperate today. Forecast is for 15-25mph though currently seems calm.”  She adds, “Will let folks know when we know!”

UPDATE 8/10, 7:40am:  We just received word from Austin Hack’s mother, Barbara, that all rowing is cancelled in Rio today due to high winds.  The Men’s Eight repechage, in which Austin will again serve as stroke, will be rescheduled. We will post details of the new date and time as soon as they are available.

The US Men’s Eight, with Austin Hack as stroke, gave a strong performance in the second heat Monday morning to achieve second place behind Germany.  Thanks to that win, Germany  — reigning Olympic champions and #2 in the world — qualified directly for the final along with Great Britain, who won the first heat.  

The US team must now row again in the repechage on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST to secure a spot in the final. We believe the top four from the repechage go forward into Saturday’s final.

Go Austin! Go Team USA!

 

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Old Lyme’s Hack Starts Quest for Rowing Gold in Rio This Morning

The US Men's Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke.
Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

Update:  The US Men’s Eight came in second behind Germany in their heat this morning.  Germany has qualified directly for the final along with Great Britain, who won the first heat.  The US  team must now row again in the repechage on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST to secure a spot in the final.

Go Austin! Go Team USA!

Austin Hack of Old Lyme, the stroke for the US Men’s Eight, has his first race at 8:20 a.m. Monday (Aug. 8) morning. The schedule had to be reconfigured after today’s racing was cancelled in Rio due to high winds.

 

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Hoping for Gold in Rio, World No. 1 Women’s Cyclist Guarnier Has Old Lyme Connection

The world No. 1 women's road cyclist , Megan Guarnier, who is competing in Rio on Sunday, is the niece of Cathy Nyberg of Old Lyme.

The world No. 1 women’s road cyclist , Megan Guarnier, who is competing in Rio on Sunday, is the niece of Cathy Nyberg of Old Lyme.

We assume the whole town knows that Old Lyme’s Austin Hack is the stroke for the US Men’s Eight and will race for gold in Rio next Saturday, but did you know there’s another Olympian at Rio, also with a strong chance to win a gold, who has a strong Old Lyme connection?

Megan Guarnier, the world No. 1 women’s road cyclist, is the niece of Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Burns Nyberg of Old Lyme. Megan is the daughter of Cathy’s sister, Mary Burns, of Glens Falls, N.Y., and hot favorite to win the gold in this coming Sunday’s 80-mile race.

There’s a wonderful full-page story in today’s Wall Street Journal about Megan — she has an interesting history since she went to Middlebury College as a swimmer, but has since morphed into a world-class professional cyclist, who this year has won the famed Giro Rosa race in Italy and the Tour of California, as well as a slew of other major road races all over the world.

And is Cathy Nyberg in Rio to watch her niece?  No, she’s up in Glens Falls dutifully taking care of her elderly parents while her sister Mary (Megan’s mother) and numerous others of her seven brothers and sisters are in Rio to cheer Megan to victory.

Go Team USA! Go Megan! And of course, go Austin!

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Malloy, Wyman Congratulate CT Athletes Competing in Olympics; OLRA to Host Viewing Party in Lyme for Austin Hack’s Race, All Welcome

The US Men's Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman yesterday congratulated the Connecticut athletes competing in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and are wishing them the best in their competitions.  The list of athletes competing includes Austin Hack of Old Lyme, who is the stroke for the US Men’s Eight.  Hack graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2010.

His parents, Dr. Gregory Hack and Dr. Barbara Hack,  and sisters Olivia and Molly, along with other family members, left today to travel to Rio, hopefully to watch Austin win a gold medal!

The Old Lyme Rowing Association (OLRA) is hosting a breakfast reception for Austin’s Rio race on Saturday, Aug. 13,  from 9 to 11 a.m. in the barn at 325 Grassy Hill Rd. in Lyme. Enjoy this opportunity to watch the race on a big screen TV with friends and family.  All are welcome. Space is limited. A $10 donation to OLRA is suggested. Contact Jane Montanaro for more information and to RSVP at janemontanaro@aol.com.

In his message to the athletes, Governor Malloy said,”We are honored to have a group of internationally recognized athletes who call Connecticut their home and will represent our state and our nation in one of the most prominent sporting events in the world,”  adding, “We wish all of the Team USA athletes the best in this year’s Olympic Games, but in particular you can guarantee that there will be a strong contingent of us back home in Connecticut cheering for our hometown stars.”

“Congratulations to our Connecticut Olympians – we’re thrilled to be represented on Team USA,” Lt. Governor Wyman said.  “These men and women are tremendous athletes, and their commitment to excellence makes them great role models for all of us back home.  I wish them good luck and urge them to enjoy every minute of the Games.”

The Governor and Lt. Governor also expressed their best wishes to Team USA Women’s Basketball head coach Coach Geno Auriemma and several Huskies, who will be competing on the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team.

Members of the U.S. Olympic team who are from Connecticut include:

o    Donn Cabral – Track and Field (Glastonbury, CT)
o    Andrew Campbell, Jr. – Rowing (New Canaan, CT)
o    Charlie Cole – Rowing (New Canaan, CT)
o    Thomas Dunstan – Water Polo (New Canaan, CT)
o    Austin Hack – Rowing (Old Lyme, CT)
o    Michael Hartfield – Track and Field (Manchester, CT)
o    Devin McEwan – Canoe/Kayak (Salisbury, CT)
o    Alyssa Naeher – Soccer (Seymour/Bridgeport, CT)
o    Chris Wyles – Rugby (Stamford, CT)
(Note: This list was compiled by the U.S. Olympic Committee and is based on the athletes’ hometowns, not their current residence.)
 Go Austin!  Go Team USA!
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Baseball Boys, Lax Girls Fall in CIAC Semifinals

Coach Randy St. Germain strides out towards his team after their victory Saturday afternoon over top-seeded Oxford HS. Photo by Kristen St. Germain.

Coach Randy St. Germain strides out towards his team after their victory Saturday afternoon over top-seeded Oxford HS. Photo by Kristen St. Germain.

Tuesday afternoon, Randy St. Germain’s Wildcats seeded #24 played #4 St. Paul in the CIAC Class S baseball semifinals at New Britain’s Beehive Field. Sadly, the final score was 5-2.

For a full report, see http://www.theday.com/article/20160607/SPORT03/160609336

Later the same day, Emily Macione’s top-seeded lax girls were defeated 15-11 by #4 Canton in their CIAC Class S semifinal at Southington.

For a full report, see http://www.theday.com/high-school-sports/20160607/old-lyme-girls-lose-third-straight-class-s-lacrosse-semifinal.

Congratulations to both teams on their outstanding seasons!

 

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DeMott Breaks 35-Year-Old Lyme-Old Lyme HS 400m Record at State Open

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Will DeMott celebrates his success after breaking the 35-year-old LOLHS record for the 3,200 meters.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior William DeMott celebrates his success after breaking the 35-year-old LOLHS record for the 400 meters.

Yesterday Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) senior William DeMott broke a LOLHS track record in the 400 meters that has stood for 35 years.  The race in which DeMott achieved this success took place at the State Open track and field championships held at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.

DeMott finished in 51.46 seconds breaking the previous record of 51.61 seconds set in 1981 by D. Stanland.

Congratulations, Will!

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Three Lyme-Old Lyme Runners Advance to State Open

Danny Cole placed 3rd in the state 3,200 meter race. Photo by E. Cole.

Danny Cole placed 3rd in the state 3,200 meter race. Photo by E. Cole.

Three Lyme-Old Lyme High School boys achieved results in the state track and field contest last week that qualified them for the State Open Championship being held tomorrow.

In the 400 meters, Will Demott finished 5th, Corey Knepshield came 4th in the 800 meters and.Danny Cole was 3rd in the 3,200 meters.

Congratulations … and go Wildcats!

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Wildcats Battle Past Top Seeds Oxford in Class S Baseball to Advance to Semis

Coach Randy St. Germain strides out towards his team after their victory Saturday afternoon over top-seeded Oxford HS. Photo by Kristen St. Germain.

Coach Randy St. Germain strides out towards his team after their victory Saturday afternoon over top-seeded Oxford HS. Photo by Kristen St. Germain.

Randy St. Germain’s Wildcats seeded #24 pulled off an amazing 4-3 win against top seeded Oxford High School Saturday afternoon, and moreover on the opponents home field.  Old Lyme will now meet #4 St. Paul in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Britain’s Beehive Field.

Click to read a more detailed report of the game published Saturday evening on theday.com.

Go Wildcats!

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Wildcat Lax Girls Storm Into State Semis

Old Lyme on their way to victory against Ellington High School Thursday.

Old Lyme on their way to victory against Ellington High School Thursday.

Playing at home in unseasonably cool temperatures under cloudy skies, the Old Lyme girls took control of their CIAC Class S state quarterfinal game against Ellington High School Thursday afternoon and ultimately claimed a 17-11 victory.

Coach Emily Macione had nothing but praise for her team “across the board,” saying, “I’m really, really proud of the girls from beginning to end.” She noted that each team member had excelled in every way, “from winning draws and taking care of the ball on offense, to pressuring on the ride and in the midfield, and finally making some clutch defensive stops on the other end.”

Macione pointed out that Ellington was “an opponent we didn’t know” since they do not play in the same conference as Lyme-Old Lyme, so “You never know what’s going to happen … but we did know it was going to be a tough game”

After the final whistle, Wildcat goalie Hannah Guenther shares a group with two fellow team members.

After the final whistle, Wildcat goalie Hannah Guenther shares a group with two fellow team members.

Adding, “Our goalie Hannah Guenther made some incredible saves today, and I just felt like from one end of the other, the girls hustled,” Macione concluded, “Their collective hustle made the difference in who earned the victory.”

Asked about the flow of the game, Macione responded, “In the first half, it was back and forth, but in the second half, we were able to pull away a little more because of that commitment, and how the girls were supporting each other in all aspects of play on the field.”

The Wildcats will now meet Canton, who defeated Weston 12-6 today, on Tuesday, June 7, at a time and place to be announced. This is the third year in a row that Old Lyme have reached the semifinals — they were defeated in the previous two and so Macione and her girls must certainly be hoping the ‘third time’s a charm!’

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A Night to Remember for Old Lyme: Boys and Girls Win Lacrosse Shoreline Championships

Winning Wildcats!

The first winning Wildcats of the evening …

More photos now added. In an extraordinary evening of skill and strength; grit and guts; and dexterity and determination, both the boys and girls Old Lyme High School lacrosse teams crushed their respective rivals so convincingly that there was never really any doubt about the result.

... and here's the second!

… and here’s the second!  Photo by Lauren Romeo.

The Old Lyme goals were so prolific on both teams that many in the large crowd at the Connecticut College Athletic Center had lost count of the precise number by the time each game was over.

The boys defeated The Morgan School of Clinton 17-5 while the girls won 16-6 against Old Saybrook.

Here are more photos from a memorable evening:

Wildcats leaping high

A Wildcat leaps high. Photo by Gabrielle Hoffman.

Wildcat goalie Hananh G fiercely defends the goal. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Wildcat goalie Hananh Gunther fiercely defends the goal. Photo by Gabrielle Hoffman.

Celebrating their win. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Celebrating their win. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Taking the trophy for a run!

Running with the trophy … Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Co-captains Sloane Sweitzer and Sophia Romeo celebrate sweet victory. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Co-captains Sloane Sweitzer (left) and Sophia Romeo celebrate sweet victory. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Wildcats seniors are all smiles. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

Wildcats seniors are all smiles. Photo by Lauren Romeo.

A drenching for coach Emily Macione -- the team celebrates in the traditional fashion!

A drenching for coach Emily Macione — the team celebrates in the traditional fashion!

Congratulations, Wildcats!

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In a First for Old Lyme HS, Sweitzer Named All-American for Girl’s Lacrosse

Sloane Sweitzer in action on the lacrosse field.

Sloane Sweitzer (left) in action on the lacrosse field.

Sloane Sweitzer is having quite a lacrosse season!

Last week she found out she was the first girl in Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) history to be named an All-American.  Yesterday, she learned  she had been named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year for 2016, and also made 1st Team All-Conference for 2016.

Sweitzer’s coach, Emily Macione, told LymeLine.com, “There is no first and second [All-American] team anymore; they select one team of girls.  She [Sweitzer] was up against girls from all levels and school sizes across the state,” adding that it, “is obviously a pretty big accomplishment.”

All-American girl's lacrosse player Sloane Sweitzer

All-American girl’s lacrosse player Sloane Sweitzer

Macione continued, “Sloane’s had an incredible senior season thus far and earning this honor is the metaphorical fruit of her labor.  Furthermore, she has worked so hard these past four years, fought back from tearing her ACL last year, and we are just really, really proud of her.”

Sweitzer, who will be attending Bryant University (which plays Division I women’s lacrosse) in the fall, has been a four-year varsity member of the girls’ lacrosse team and is its captain this season.  She was also captain of cross country in the fall and basketball in the winter, and has lettered not only in those three varsity sports during her high school career, but also in soccer.

Sweitzer was the 2016 CIAC female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for LOLHS and to date in her senior season has scored 63 goals, 43 assists, and 91 draw controls. In her remarkable career at LOLHS to date, she has notched 274 goals, 105 assists, and 214 draw controls.  She was named First Team All-State in 2013, 2014, 2015 and will also be in 2016. Similarly, she was named All-Conference in 2013 and 2014 and is expected to do so in 2016.

She missed half of the 2015 season recovering from an ACL tear, so while she did not make All-Conference, she returned in sufficient time to be named All-State.

This evening she will lead her team in the Shoreline Conference final against Old Saybrook at Connecticut College, starting at 7 p.m.

Congratulations, Sloane … and Go Wildcats!

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Old Lyme’s Hack Will Row at Rio! US Men’s Eight Wins Olympic Qualifying Race in Lucerne

Team USA with Old Lyme's Austin Hack stands with the second placed Polish team who also qualified for the Olympics on the podium at Lucerne. Italy cam third and missed qualifying by 0.56 seconds

Team USA (on left in white) with Old Lyme’s Austin Hack at right stands with the second-placed Polish team — who also qualified for the Olympics — on the podium at Lucerne. Italy came in third and missed qualifying by 0.36 of a second. Photo from worldrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight with Old Lyme’s Austin Hack as stroke was victorious in a thrilling Olympic qualifying race yesterday in Lucerne, Switzerland.  This win books the crew’s ticket to Rio — way to go, Austin and Team USA!

We reprint below a section of a report on today’s races from worldrowing.com.  Read the full report at this link.

Men’s Eight (M8+) – Final

In 2004 the United States won the Olympic men’s eight. In 2012 they finished fourth. Today they raced in the middle lane of this qualifying final. Only two boats would make it to the Rio Olympics and there were five boats in with a chance. At the first marker Poland was in the lead with Australia following in second. But there was really nothing between these two crews with the United States also getting away very quickly as just one and a half seconds covered the whole crew.

Then going through the 800m mark the United States did a piece and they got their nose in front. The United States stroke man Austin Hack was keeping the stroke rate up and following the motivational calls being fed out by coxswain Samuel Ojserkis. Then Poland moved up as the final sprint came into view. There was nothing in it. Less than two seconds separated the top four boats and there was just 500m left to row. Only Spain was off the pace. The United States hit 41 strokes per minute. Poland was also on 41. Italy hit 39. Italy had missed out by just 0.36 of a second. The United States and Poland have booked their spot in Rio. The US time was just 10 seconds outside of the World Best Time. Poland’s coxswain, Daniel Trojanowski then stood up in the boat applauding his crew. 

Rio Olympic Qualifiers: USA, POL

Austin Hack, United States of America – first
“We knew someone would shoot out right from the start, which happened indeed. But we trusted our middle 1000. We have a great base. At the halfway mark I had no clue where we were. Once we crossed the finish line, I still wasn’t sure if we qualified. It is still really surreal.“

Piotr Juszczak, Poland – second
“We had to change a lot of things from the first race because we were just giving too much energy. We stayed economical and calm today. Once we were in front, we were confident.” 

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US Men’s Eight with Old Lyme’s Hack as Stroke Wins First Olympic Qualifier in Lucerne, Switzerland; Next — and Critical — Race is Tuesday

The US Men's Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action with Austin Hack facing the camera as stroke. Photo by Ed Moran, courtesy of usrowing.org

Competition has begin in Lucerne, Switzerland, to determine final rowing qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Austin Hack of Old Lyme is the stroke of the US Men’s Eight and in their first race of the contest earlier today to determine lane placement for Tuesday’s critical final, the US team boat achieved first place.

Quoting from a press release written by Allison Müller and published by USRowing.org, “Calm, flat water welcomed crews to the Rotsee racecourse on Sunday for the first day of the 2016 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta … The U.S. men’s eight won its preliminary race for lanes, holding off a charge from Italy to cross in 5:34.26.”  The US team “took the lead from Australia in the third quarter of the race. Italy sprinted from third place at the red buoys, but fell short, crossing 0.57 seconds behind the United States.”

Müller continues, ““It was good to get it going,” said Ojserkis. “The race went well, and we have some things to improve on. We’ll look to straighten them out for the final. It’s on to the next one, the one that counts.”

Australia finished third in 5:36.10, Poland fourth in 5:39.20 and Spain fifth in 5:44.80. The top two crews in Tuesday’s final earn Olympic qualification. Three rowers return from the 2015 U.S. eight including Hack, Karwoski and Dommer. Ochal and Kasprzyk return from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.”

The other members of the US Men’s Eight crew are coxswain Sam Ojserkis (Linwood, N.J.), Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, Pa.), Rob Munn (Redmond, Wash.),Mike DiSanto (Boston, Mass.), Steve Kasprzyk (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Alex Karwoski (Hollis, N.H.), Hans Struzyna (Kirkland, Wash.) and Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif.).

Hack was a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and went on to Stanford University, where he continued to excel in both academics and rowing.

Since graduating from Stanford in 2014 with a degree in political science, Hack has been training intensively with the US Rowing Training Center at Princeton in the hopes of achieving his Olympic dream.

Austin is the son of Dr. Gregory and Dr. Barbara Kelly Hack of Old Lyme, both of whom are in Lucerne to watch their son race.

For more information on Austin Hack’s extraordinary career to date, view his profile at this link. 

Good luck on Tuesday, Austin!  Everyone here in your hometown is rooting for you, the US Men’s Eight and the whole US team!

 

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Old Lyme Rowing Association Honors Long-Time Supporter Rob Roach, Christens Varsity Boat ‘Coach Roach’

Rob Roach stands beside the just christened 'Coach Roach.'

Rob Roach stands beside the newly christened ‘Coach Roach.’

The Old Lyme Rowing Association (OLRA) held a christening ceremony Saturday, May 14, at Hains Park in Old Lyme to name the boy’s varsity coxed four boat the “Coach Roach” in honor of now retired Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) coach and Athletic Director Rob Roach. The OLRA wanted to recognize Roach’s long history of commitment to the youth of Old Lyme and his passion for crew, noting that during his tenure as LOLHS Athletic Director, Roach was both a friend and supporter of high school crew.

Rob Roach names the 'Coach Roach' in the traditional manner.

Rob Roach names the ‘Coach Roach’ in the traditional manner.

Following a tribute by OLRA President Greg Hack, in traditional fashion Roach drizzled “champagne” on the new craft, which was promptly placed in the waters of Rogers Lake by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School first four. Old Lyme Selectmen MaryJo Nosal and Arthur ‘Skip’ Sibley, along with several members of the Roach family were in attendance, as well as OLRA board members, athletes and parents.

Rob Roach stands with LOLHS Varsity Coach Louis Zubek by the 'Coach Roach.'

Rob Roach stands with LOLHS Varsity Coach Louis Zubek by the ‘Coach Roach.’

The “Coach Roach” had, in fact, already been used with all of the other coxed fours in the largest regatta hosted at Hains Park in recent memory. Seven schools (Lyme-Old Lyme, Valley Regional and Old Saybrook High Schools; Berkshire, Hopkins, Canterbury and Dexter Southfield Schools) had enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on the placid waters of Rogers Lake. The Boys IV (rowing the “Coach Roach”) finished third while the Girls IV finished second. For more results, visit www.row2k.com

Moving the "Coach Roach" into the waters of Rogers Lake.

Moving the “Coach Roach” into the waters of Rogers Lake.

On the same day, LOLHS (Class of 2014) graduate Liam Corrigan, who is now a Harvard sophomore, won the prestigious Eastern Sprints, stroking the Harvard second eight, and LOLHS (Class of 2010) and Stanford University (Class of 2014) graduate Austin Hack was named to the US Men’s eight with a May 24 chance to compete in the Rio Olympics (click to read related story on LymeLine.com.)

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Old Lyme’s Hack Selected for Men’s Eight for Olympic Qualifier Regatta in Lucerne

Austin Hack, fourth from left, is hard at work in this file photo of the US Men's U23 Eight.

Austin Hack, fourth from left, is hard at work in this file photo of the US Men’s U23 Eight.

Austin Hack of Old Lyme was named yesterday as one of the men’s eight that will represent the United States at the 2016 Final Qualification Regatta, May 22-24, in Lucerne, Switzerland.  In order to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the team must finish in the top two overall in their races at Lucerne.

Hack was a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and went on to Stanford University, where he continued to excel in both academics and rowing.

Since graduating from Stanford in 2014 with a degree in political science, Hack has been training intensively with the US Rowing Training Center at Princeton in the hopes of achieving his Olympic dream.

The remaining members selected for the crew include coxswain Sam Ojserkis (Linwood, N.J.), Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, Pa.), Rob Munn (Redmond, Wash.),Mike DiSanto (Boston, Mass.), Steve Kasprzyk (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Alex Karwoski (Hollis, N.H.), Hans Struzyna (Kirkland, Wash.) and Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif.).

For more information on Hack’s extraordinary career to date, view his profile at this link.  He is the son of Dr. Gregory and Dr. Barbara Kelly Hack of Old Lyme, both of whom rowed at college.

Congratulations, Austin, and good luck in Lucerne!

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After Solid Start, Wildcats End Up Clawing Desperate Overtime Victory

Josh Turkowski makes a shot from the foul line during last night's game against Lyman Memorial.

Josh Turkowski makes a shot from the foul line during last night’s game against Lyman Memorial.

Sixth-seeded Old Lyme appeared to be on their way to an expected victory last night over Lyman Memorial (seeded 27) at half-time when the score stood at 35-22.  Things were still on track at the end of the third quarter when the Wildcats had advanced to a comfortable 45-32 lead.

And then it all fell apart in the fourth quarter when Lyman outscored the ‘Cats  23-10 to force a completely unanticipated and nerve-wracking overtime at 55-55.

Kirk Kaczor’s boys fought back in overtime ably assisted by senior George Doll, who had sat on the bench until the final minutes of the fourth quarter due to an injury.  Doll scored five critical points in overtime, which helped Old Lyme finally claim a 67-60 victory.

Drake Gavin was top scorer for Old Lyme with 19 points, while Matt Watts St-Germain added 16.

Old Lyme now faces No. 11 Coginchaug tomorrow evening at Lyme-Old Lyme High School with a 7 p.m. tip-off.  Despite their lower ranking, Coginchaug defeated the Wildcats in the regular season so the game promises to be intense.

Go Wildcats!

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‘Cats Fall to Cromwell in Shoreline Championship in Final Minutes

A photo (by D. St. Germain) when victory was looking likely on Friday night ...

A photo (by D. St. Germain) when victory was looking likely on Friday night …

Despite leading much of the game against top-seeded Cromwell, victory ultimately eluded Kirk Kaczor’s Wildcats in the Shoreline Conference Championship game played Friday evening in Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven. Old Lyme were up 28-27 at the half but in a heartbreaking loss, lost 52-48 at the buzzer.

For a full report of the game, read Desmond Conner’s article, Boys Basketball: Cromwell Beats Old Lyme, 52-48, published in the [Hartford] courant.com.

Old Lyme now faces Lyman Memorial on Monday at home tipping off at 7 p.m.in the first round of the CIAC Class S state tournament.

Go Wildcats!

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After Crushing Rams in Semis, ‘Cats Meet Cromwell Tonight in Shoreline Championship

The Wildcat seniors (from left to right) Matt Watts-St. Germain, George Doll, Drake Gavin and Josh Turkowski will play again Friday in the Shoreline Conference final.

The Wildcat seniors (from left to right) Matt Watts-St. Germain, George Doll, Drake Gavin and Josh Turkowski will play again Friday in the Shoreline Conference final. Photos by Danielle St. Germain.

Kirk Kaczor’s Wildcats stormed to success last night with a stunning 62-45 victory over the Old Saybrook Rams in a Shoreline Conference semi-final.

Coach Kaczor gives advice to his seniors during the team's 49-46 victory over East Hampton last Saturday.

Coach Kaczor gives advice to his seniors during the team’s 49-46 victory over East Hampton last Saturday.

Playing in front of a capacity crowd in the opposition’s own gymnasium, Drake Gavin, who was named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year over the weekend, poured in the points scoring 33 by the end of the game.

Following a long tradition at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, the seniors pose with oversize cut-outs of their heads used later by the fans to show support for the team.

The Wildcat seniors!

The Old Lyme boys now face top-seeded Cromwell in the Shoreline Conference final at Wilbur Cross High School on Friday.

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Giaconia Signs with UConn

Jack Giaconia, who signed a Letter of Intent to play football with UConn last week.

Jack Giaconia, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play football with UConn, was a four-year starter on the Valley/Old Lyme co-op football team.  Photo by Laura Matesky, www.lauramateskyphotography.com

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Jack Giaconia, who was a starter on the Valley Regional/Lyme-Old Lyme ‘Warriors’ co-op football team throughout his high school career, has signed a Letter of Intent to be a preferred walk-on with the UConn Huskies.

A delighted Giaconia told LymeLine.com, “For me signing with UConn is a dream come true. I’ve been watching them play on TV since I was like seven years old.”

He explained that prior to signing with UConn, he had quite a number of college options on the table including Endicott, University of New Haven, and also Central, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities.  He noted, “I was also considering going to prep school since I wasn’t getting very much interest from big time Division One schools,” but, “When [Warriors head] coach [Tim] King told me that UConn was interested, I was very excited.”

Now, after a short break following his high school graduation in early June, Giaconia is looking forward to starting his training with the UConn team at the end of June.  He explains, “That’s when I start lifting and training with the team.”

Asked if there was anyone he wished to acknowledge in terms of having helped him reach his goal, Giaconia, who stands 6 ft. 4 in. and weighs 330 lb, graciously offered quite a list, saying first, “I want to thank coach King and all the coaching staff for being the best group of coaches a player could ask for.”  He then added, “I also want to thank both the Valley and Lyme-Old Lyme school districts because without the co-op being created, I wouldn’t have been able to play for my hometown.”

Giaconia quickly followed up saying, “I also want to thank the Roche family for being so supportive and helpful throughout the recruiting process.  And last but not least, I want to thank my family for being my biggest fans and for getting me to this point in my life.”

Jack is the son of Mark and Monica Giaconia of Lyme, Conn.

Congratulations, Jack — we’ll be following your career with great interest!

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Name Hilda Heck as New Athletic Director to Replace Buscetto

Hilda Heck

Hilda Heck

Region 18 Schools have announced the appointment of Hilda Heck (photo added 1/4/16) as the new Athletic Director for the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools. Heck currently serves as the Athletic Director at The Classical Magnet High School and Middle School in Hartford, Conn. 

A graduate of Springfield College, Heck has coached both indoor and outdoor track as well as cross country. In addition to serving as a physical education and health teacher in Hartford, Heck has also taught gymnastics and swimming at the Westbrook YMCA. She will begin her tenure in January, replacing outgoing Athletic Director Bill Buscetto.

Region 18 Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented.“We have been fortunate in our district to have a number of very talented and dedicated Athletic Directors in Rob Roach and Bill Buscetto. Hilda Heck fits the mold of high quality people we have had in this position. We are excited for her to pick up right where Bill left off and continue providing top notch athletic opportunities for our students.”

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