Penguins Look Dominant in Early Triumph

The Peglegs certainly don’t look complacent after their championship year and seemed geared to be even better this year.

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After an offseason filled with high expectations, the Penguins, Stuyvesant’s girls’ swimming team, didn’t disappoint at their first meet of the season. Coming into a shortened season, the Penguins have had less frequent but more grueling practices, leaving the team unsure of how they would fare in their first meet. Despite some concern over a slow start to the season, given the talent on their roster, they expected a strong performance nonetheless.

Launching any doubts into oblivion, the Penguins came out blazing from the start and never looked back. The Penguins took down opposing Fiorello H. Laguardia High School by a score of 58-41. They seemed to be in complete control of the meet throughout its entire duration, dominating nearly every single event.

Starting with the 200 yd. Medley Relay, the Penguins showed right away that they were a force to be reckoned with. They were able to capture both first and second place in this event. This proved to be a common occurrence throughout the meet, as the Penguins repeated this result in both the 200 yd. Freestyle and 200 yd. Individual Medley. In fact, besides the 50 yd. Freestyle, 500 yd. Freestyle, and diving, the Peglegs were able to win all their other events by taking first and second place. Even in those events where they didn’t, the Penguins were able to take second and third place. Their victory never seemed in doubt after the first few events.

Senior co-captain Lauren Ng was certainly proud of the effort her team put forth in the meet against Laguardia. “I was surprised by how solid our times were, especially because we have had a shorter season so we’ve had harder practices. So it surprised me how [well] everyone was swimming in such a short amount of time,” Ng said. Ng was particularly impressed by the performances of junior Arielle Aney and freshman Mayumi Schaeperscheu in the 200 yd. freestyle. The two swimmers dominated their competition and won their event by nearly a full minute. When asked about how this first win would translate to the rest of the season, Ng said, “The meet showed that we are looking good and in shape and can only get better from here as long as we all work hard and stay dedicated.”

Maia Brydon, senior and co-captain, also appeared to be impressed by her team’s performance, particularly the newcomers’. “Our rookies/freshmen definitely stepped up and performed well for their first meet,” Brydon said. Brydon expressed great confidence in the team. “I think the meet played out pretty much as I thought it would,” Brydon said.

Their coach, Silvana Choy, was also satisfied by the team’s performance, and named some individuals that stood out to her. “Melbourne Tang dropped 21 seconds in the 500 free. Chrisabella Javier dropped five seconds in the 100 fly. Freshman Alina Dufenyuk swam beautifully in the 500 free with a time of 6:25.63. Natasha Moeslinger (200IM) and Michelle Kwon (100FLY) both had strong swims in their events,” the coach said.

She is choosing to take the team’s recent successes, however, with a grain of salt. “I think that the Penguins got off to a strong start. We have sseven more dual meets to go. Two are against Bronx Science. They are a very strong team this year and will be very hard to beat,” Choy said.

What makes the Penguin’s victory even more impressive is how they stack up to last year’s team during the same time last year. Compared to last year’s first win against Laguardia, the Penguin’s times have improved in nearly every event. Considering that last year’s team won the city championship, it’s clear that the Penguins don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.