BATTLE GROUND | Chesterton is going to the state girls golf tournament, surprising everyone — including the Trojans themselves.
That wasn't the only surprise of the day at the Lafayette Jefferson Regional, after three Duneland Athletic Conference teams swept the advancing places, led by Valparaiso with a 328, the Trojans second with a 330 and Lake Central third at 334.
“It’s really an accomplishment. We played very well,” Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt said. “Frankly, the 330 kind of surprised us a little bit. The kids all played great, they just gutted it out playing against some really tough competition.”
The Trojans were led by Cara Kroeger’s 79, to finish second at the Lafayette Jeff regional on Saturday at the Battle Creek Golf Club. Chesterton will be joined next weekend at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin by Duneland Athletic Conference cohorts Valparaiso and Lake Central.
Valpo, considered along with host Lafayette Jeff to be the favorite at the regional, was paced by senior Harley Dubsky, who took medalist honors with a 71. Dubsky said the team title meant more to her than the individual win.
“Individually, I control my own game. If I win or lose, it’s based upon me,” Dubsky said. “The team — I mean, that’s four scores that you have to put together against another team’s four scores, so anything can happen. We saw Chesterton come out of nowhere and have four great rounds, so the team win (means more).”
Lake Central was considered a darkhorse contender coming into the day, then had their spirits diminished briefly by Chesterton’s big finish. Until all scores were final and it was revealed Lafayette Jeff was eliminated, the Indians were on the outside looking in.
“Chesterton came in with a really good score. The last few holes, I thought we might have let it slip away,” L.C. coach Chris Rossiano said. “I knew we had a really good chance to be No. 3, but when Chesterton snuck in it was kind of like, ‘uh oh.’"
"Northwest Indiana doesn’t get a lot of representation, so I think it’s kind of cool that we have three (DAC) schools going down there.”
Dubsky said the best part about having three DAC schools moving on to the state finals is that it will earn the conference some respect.
“It’s great,” Dubsky said. “It just shows how much our conference is growing and that we are a strong conference. Coming down here and beating some Lafayette schools shows that we are a force.
“Now, it’s just fun. This was really the work week. Now, there’s no other stage. We just go and have fun. There’s no expectation. You just go and you play and you see what the outcome is.”