Lady Peglegs: On The Right Track

Coming off a hot run in the 2023 season, the Lady Peglegs wish to switch gears and improve their current roster, as two of their senior stars head off to college.

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By Geoffrey Huang

Last year, Stuyvesant’s girls’ varsity cross country orchestrated one of the most dominant championship runs ever. With expectations higher than ever, the Lady Peglegs, previously named and still commonly called the Greyducks, face a familiar challenge this year. With competition tough, the Lady Peglegs are hoping to orchestrate yet another successful season with their contemporary roster, though some aspects have not gone perfectly to plan.

November 5 of last year marked a momentous achievement for the team, where they not only placed first in the five-kilometer varsity race but also in the corresponding junior varsity race. Former runners Isabella Stenhouse (‘23) and Pimada Phongsuriya (‘23) finished first and fourth last year, respectively. The JV squad also saw similar success, as Stuyvesant runners filled the top five. 

With a stalwart reputation to maintain, the Lady Peglegs have not slacked on their robust training routine and have been training hard since the start of their preseason in August. Despite the soaring summer temperatures of a record-hot summer, the team ran tirelessly through the piers that line the Hudson River and through Central Park’s many hills. As they ran across a variety of terrains, they experienced the importance of intimacy within the team. “I’ve tried to impress on the girls that we can only succeed if we do it together. That means running together in training and in races,” coach Carl DiSarno said. 

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the Lady Peglegs have not experienced the same level of success thus far. They lost their two highest-ranked runners, Stenhouse and Phongsuriya, to college. “Now that they’re gone, we’re really gonna have to focus on pushing each other during workouts and races, and make sure that we run as a pack,” senior and captain Carol Hon said. With the introduction of standout freshman stars, such as runner Julinda Dimnaku who won 12th in the second Bronx/Manhattan Grand Prix 1.5 mile run, the team is capable of recovering this lost skill. 

Also during the second Bronx/Manhattan Grand Prix, eight varsity runners made it into the top 30 and three into the top 10 of the five-kilometer race, including senior captain Carla Li, who finished fourth. However, the JV team struggled in the Frosh and JV races, with their best rankings within the top 20. “We have some freshmen with great potential right now—our freshmen team won first during Borough’s recently, and we hope they’ll secure that during City Champs. Some girls have improved tremendously since last season through their hard work, and it’s showing through their PRs,” Li said. 

Even without reaching the same level of success during the season-opening meet, the Lady Peglegs are still not discouraged. Many of the underclassmen displayed their skills and grit during the Frosh/Soph Bronx-Manhattan Boroughs, with six runners total reaching the top 15 in the 2.5 and 1.5 miles run, including sophomore runners Emma Savonije (second), Kanchanok Zhang (fourth), and Ruxia Chen (14th) and freshmen runners Yuma Kono (seventh), Anchine Liu (eighth), and Sasha Orr (11th). During the Marty Lewis meet, junior and varsity runner Skye McArthur (eighth), along with senior and varsity runners Carol Hon (11th) and Medha Prasad (19th), reached the top 20 of the five-kilometer race. 

After such a dominant 2022 season, many runners and spectators have set high expectations and goals for the Lady Peglegs. “Winning this year will be an uphill battle because Hunter College [High School] has perhaps the best collection of talent that the PSAL has seen so far this century and they’ll be very tough to beat,” DiSarno said. With their indomitable spirit, unwavering determination, and non-stop practice, it doesn’t look like these Lady Peglegs are going to break their stride.