MICHIGAN CITY | In the beginning of what is sure to be an intense rivalry for the next three years, Chesterton's Kelly Grassel took round one over Valparaiso's Harley Dubsky.
Grassel shot an even-par 60 at the Marquette Invitational to lead the Trojans to a four-stroke victory over Valparaiso in their first meet of the year at the Michigan City Municipal North course on Friday afternoon.
Overshadowing the nine-team meet was the first high school meeting between the sophomore Grassel and freshman Dubsky.
"I've played with Harley ever since I was little, and we have a very friendly rivalry," Grassel said. "We'll be neck and neck all season."
Dubsky, who made her high school debut in Plymouth on Thursday, was comfortable in her first high school meeting with Grassel and the Trojans.
"There is always going to be pressure, and I'm my biggest critic, so I probably put more pressure on myself than anyone else," Dubsky said.
"We're going to play each other probably 10 more times throughout the season. Today was her day, and we'll continue to go against one another."
The Trojans and Vikings were head and shoulders above the competition Friday at the shorter course. Both teams will meet again Monday at the longer Kankakee Valley meet.
"This is a good confidence booster for us," Grassel said. "I'm glad that we won today, but we haven't reached our full potential."
Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt is pretty set with his top four golfers in the lineup and has a quartet of golfers who are battling for the fifth spot. Sophomore Jennifer Kattalia got the nod on Friday in her first varsity meet and carded a 78, good for third-best on the team.
"If she keeps golfing like that, she'll definitely have a spot," Hewitt said. "I watched her throughout the day, and I could tell how well she was doing just by how pleased she was."
While the Trojans won their fifth straight Marquette Invite, Valparaiso coach Bill Miller was happy with his team's effort Friday.
"We were four shots from the top team in the area," Miller said. "We were hoping to be within single digits, and we got that. There is still room for improvement."