Chesterton Tribune

2004 Sports Year in Review

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From late game heroics to disheartening losses. From exceeding expectations to falling a bit short - Chestertonís sports teams covered them all in 2004.

Overall, it was another remarkable year for the boys and girls that donned the maroon and gold.

In all, six teams hoisted sectional championship trophies, including girls soccer, boys baseball, girls tennis, girls track, boys swimming and girls swimming. Andy St. Germain and Myles Hiteman also posted sectional titles in wrestling, and Adam Martin repeated in cross country.

Sarah Kehe and Mary Ballinger swept the top two spots at the New Prairie Regional, but all of the above were a distant second to the accomplishments of swimming phenom Christy Grcevich and the 3,200 relay team team of Cassie and Kelly Peller, and Sarah Kehe and Ali Bishel.

You have to flip back the calendar a ways to remember Grcevichís feats, but for anyone that made the trip to IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis for the girls state swim meet, the first year swimmerís dominance is difficult to forget.

Indiana is always one of the fastest states for high school girls swimming, and in 2004 it wasnít only quick but deep with talent and thatís what makes Grcevichís accomplishments even more special. Grcevich, competing in her first state finals of her high school career, turned in a blistering 56.57 for the stateís top honor in the 100 fly. She added a second place finish in the 50 free, and led the 200 and 400 free relays each to fifth place finishes.

Not to be outdone, the fantastic foursome of the Pellers and Kehe and Bishel repeated as state champs.

For the second straight year, Chesterton won the 3,200-meter relay in record time at the girls track and field state meet held at Indiana Universityís Robert Haugh Complex.

With three of the same runners, the Lady Trojans bolted across the finish line in 9:09.50, almost two seconds ahead of the former state record of 9:11.30 they set last year and a comfortable nine seconds ahead of second-place Zionsville.

In the final competition of her brilliant high school career the elder Peller ran a blistering anchoring split of 2:11 to seal the deal for the Lady Trojan foursome.

Peller went on to place fourth in the 1,600 (4:55.98), before scratching herself out of the 800.

The following is other memorable events, along with a month-by-month breakdown of 2004.

Success Story: The biggest turnaround of 2004 came in boys soccer. The Trojans, behind first year coach James Sensibaugh finshed 12-4-1 and 7-1 in the Duneland Athletic Conference, which was good for second behind state champ Valparaiso. It was a huge leap from last season which saw Chesterton post just one conference win and a bleak overall record of 6-12-1.

Making it to State: Chesterton sophomore Kristin Kalita, playing in her first regional competition, advanced to the state finals at the Legends of Golf Course in Franklin after shooting an 86 at the LaPorte Regional at Beechwood Golf Course.

Kalita is just the second girl from Chesterton to ever advance to the state competition. Heidi Mitchell qualified in 1980.

Myles Hitemanís wait for state also ended.

Hiteman finished fourth in his weightclass at the Merrillville Semistate to become Chestertonís first state qualifier since Joe Popa in 2001.

ďThis is one of the biggest accomplishments that a wrestler can have and to get up on that board is always a big thing,Ē said Hiteman, who was a regional qualifier as a sophomore and a semistate qualifier as a junior before qualifying for state in his final attempt. ďI will live forever up on that board and thatís special.Ē

Hiteman accumulated an overall record of 96-26 in his four year career.

Chestertonís boys golf team also qualified for the state meet for the first time since 1998.

Next Years Headliners: Look for the following CHS athletes to take up most of the space in the headlines in 2005: Zach Novak (basketball, baseball), Andy St. Germain (wrestling), Kelly Peller (track, XC, basketball), Sarah Kehe (swimming, track, XC), Danielle Luther (soccer), Adam Martin (track, XC), Mary Ballinger (track, XC), Christy Grcevich (swimming), Laura DeLeon (softball), Ashley Crepps (gymnastics), Jordan Lewis (soccer), Kristen Kalita (golf), Jessica Sharp (volleyball), Jayson Jeffries (tennis), Brittany Cooley (tennis), Adam Hutnick (football, basketball), Alex Montagano (baseball), Sam Chumbley (golf) and George Grcevich (swiminng).

Best Finish: Lake Centralís Krste Krstevski tied the Duneland Athletic Conference boys basketball showdown with Chesterton 54-54 with 7.1 seconds left on a spinning fade-away jumper over the outstretched arms of Josh Malone.

Malone got revenge on the ensuing inbound pass as Casey Martin heaved a lengthy pass to Malone down the sideline. With no hesitation, Malone tossed up a prayer that hit nothing but net from about 30-feet away, giving the Trojans a 57-54 win and sending the rowdy Chesterton fans into a frenzy on the court.

For the game, Malone totaled a career-high 24 points, including converting seven three pointers.

Best Finish II: Matt Mapleís two-out game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth lifted Chesterton to a 2-1 victory over rival Valparaiso in the Class 4A Merrillville Sectional Championship Game.

Best Finish III: Danielle Luther nets her first hat trick, including tapping home the game winning goal with 54.9 seconds left in the second overtime, which lifted the Lady Trojans to a frantic 3-2 victory over defending sectional champ Portage in the semifinal of the LaPorte Sectional.

The Lady Trojans went on to win the Sectional title after beating South Bend Washington.

Tragic loss: Early in June, Chesterton suffered its greatest loss of the year with the death of math teacher and girls basketball coach Todd Talbert.

Talbert, 40, was southbound on Ind. 1 in Dearborn County in southeastern Indiana when he crossed the center lane in his Dodge Intrepid and was struck by a northbound semi-tractor trailer hauling hot liquid asphalt.

Whether it was on the court or in the classroom, Talbert made an impact on many he came in contact with at Chesterton High School. Although his life was cut short in the traffic accident, the lessons he taught will carry on through the students he touched.


Ryan Grassel takes the top spot in the 10-11 age group with a two-day total of 157 at the Junior Golf Tour Event held at Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Florida. CHS swim teams dominate LaPorte for Senior Night victories. CHS girls basketball team keeps legendary Crown Point coach Tom May from his 400th win by beating the Bulldogs 37-27.

Tommy Peller scores 32 points over two games to help CMSís seventh grade boys basketball team win the Fegely Invite. Christy Grcevich sets three pool records as CHSís girls swim team takes second at Highland Invite.

CMS wrestlers Ben Williams (95 pounds), Phil Frech (100 pounds) and Ryan Sanchez (210 pounds) each bring home individual championships at the Lake-Porter Conference Meet. Kelly Peller scores a career-high 19 points to lift Chestertonís girls basketball team to a thrilling 39-31 victory over Highland in three overtimes.

CHS wrestling team places sixth at Duneland Athletic Conference Meet - Myles Hiteman top finisher (2nd at 215). Christy Grcevich breaks DAC, pool and school record in the 50 free as Chestertonís girls swim team secures fifth straight sectional crown.

CMS 8th grade boys basketball team wins Pierce Invite. Duneland Swim Masters place sixth at Gator Classic. CHS wrestling team posts perfect 3-0 record at North Montgomery Invite. CHS junior varsity swim teams each win DAC meet.

CMS seventh grade boys basketball team wins CMS Invite. CMS eighth grade boys basketball team wins conference title, finishes season undefeated.


Jessica Kuehl places third all-around and CHS Gymnastics team rallies past LaPorte for CHS Invite title. Andy St. Germain (112-pound) and Myles Hiteman (215-pound) each win individual sectional titles. Josh Malone hits seven three-pointers, including a 30-foot game winning prayer at the buzzer to give CHS boys basketball team a 57-54 DAC win over Lake Central.

Nick Oates takes home MVP honors as CHS boys swim team wins eighth straight DAC championship. Fifth grade Trojans Basketball Club win invites in Illinois, West Lafayette and Fort Wayne. CHS boys swim team caps fourth straight undefeated season with victory over Highland. Duneland Swim Club wins Merrillville Invite.

Lynzi Lorenz surprises all by winning the sectional title in the 100 breast. Christy Grcevich sets new pool and school record with a first place showing in the 100 fly as CHS girls swim team wins fifth straight sectional title.

Andy St. Germain (112 pound) places second at Portage Regional, while Matt Dutcher (103 pound) and Myles Hiteman (215 pound) each come in third. St. Patís sixth grade boys and girls basketball team win St. John of LaPorte tourney titles.

Cat Campbell signs on to play basketball at NAIA Division II power Indiana Wesleyan. Myles Hiteman (215 pound) becomes first CHS wrestler since Joe Popa in 2001 to advance to the state finals after a fourth place showing at the Merrillville Semistate.

Christy Grcevich wins state title in 100 fly, finishes runner-up in 50 free as CHS girls swim team place seventh at state meet in Indianapolis. St. Patís seventh-eighth grade boys and girls basketball teams win St. John of LaPorte tourney.

CHS gymnastics get past Portage for Senior Night victory. CHS boys swim team wins sixth straight sectional. Mat Sommers earns eighth and final state qualifying spot at the LaPorte Diving Regional.


Amber Vogan wins on beam at Duneland Athletic Conference meet; Lady Trojans finish third overall. Nick Oates earns runner-up honors in the 500 free at state meet; Chestertonís boys swim team ends in eighth place. Josh Malone hits a three at the buzzer to force overtime, and Chestertonís boys basketball team stuns Crown Point 85-80.

St. Patís sixth grade girls basketball team claims PAC crown. Former CHS standout runner Brian Carden replaces Mike Rouse as head coach of the Lady Trojans cross country team. CHS basketball team suffers disappointing 55-50 loss to Crown Point in Class 4A Portage Sectional opener.

CHS boys bowling team advances to Regional. Duneland swimmers dominate Northwest Indiana Conference Meet. CHS gymnastics team places fourth at sectional, ends streak of five straight sectional crowns. Margret Kleppe and Amber Vogan each advance to Valpariso Regional on floor.

CMS seventh grade girls basketball team wins Pierce Invite. CHS softball head coach LouAnn Hopson and assistant coach Kevin Gates are honored by the ICGSA for their outstanding service and dedication. Amber Vogan receives academic all-state honors.

Most Valuable Player awards announced at CHS Winter Sports Awards: Mat Sommers (diving), Margret Kleppe (gymnastics), Amber Vogan (gymnastics), Brittani Seely (cheerleading), Jade Bowman (cheerleading), Matt Campbell (basketball), Stephanie Boyle (basketball), Kelly Peller (basketball), Myles Hiteman (wrestling), Christy Grcevich (swimming) and Nick Oates (swimming).

Amber Voganís and Margaret Kleppeís stellar high school careers come to a close at Valparaiso Regional. CMS eighth grade girls basketball team wins Ben Franklin B Tournament.

James Sensibaugh takes over for Ismail Attalah as head coach of the CHS boys soccer team. CHS boys bowling team advances to state.

11 Duneland wrestlers place in the top three at Hobart Invite to qualify for state. Seventh grade Trojan boys basketball team win Wheeler Invite. Holly Melton comes through with an RBI single in the bottom of the 13th to lift the Lady Trojans softball team a season-opening 4-3 win. After an impressive senior season, Matt Campbell is named to the Hoosier top-100 list.


In her first career varsity start, CHS sophomore Ashley Thomas sets school record with 16 strikeouts in the Lady Trojans 3-0 win over Michigan City Marquette. Duneland Wrestling Club wins freestyle tournament at Chesterton High School. Laura DeLeon pitches perfect game in Lady Trojans 4-0 win against Griffith.

Lakeshore gymnast Cary Johnson, 10, and Kaitlin Sopko, 12, each bring back individual state titles from the USA Gymnastics Indiana State Meet. CHS baseball surprises Class 4A No. 2 McCutcheon 5-4. Josh Malone hits home-run, while picking up the win as CHS baseball edges LaPorte at US Steel Yard in Gary.

CHS boys and girls track team each place fourth at West Lafayette. Ashley Thomas throws no-hitter against Michigan City. Kyle Whitaker takes top spot in all five of his events to lead Dunelandís Swim Club to a sixth place finish at state.


Brittany Cooley, Lynn Gackowski and Kristen Totten each win respective singles titles as CHS girls tennis team repeats as Michigan City Invite champs. CHS boys golf takes third at Wawasee Invite. CHS boys track places third at regular season ending Valpo Relays.

Cassie Peller wins both the 800 and 1,600, while younger sister Kelly breaks school record in 400 at Duneland Athletic Conference girls track meet - Lady Trojans finish runners-up as a team. Jeri Waechter (high game), Crystal Lang (high series) and Viki Gorman (high game, Womenís Bowler of the Year) honored for bowling accomplishments.

Max Goldak wins 3,200 and field MVP Spencer West wins shot put at Duneland Athletic Conference Meet - Trojans place sixth as a team. CHS girls track claim fifth straight sectional title. CHS girls tennis team beats Valparaiso 4-1 and Portage 5-0 to win sectional championship.

CHS boys track place finish sectional runners-up. CHS softball fall 1-0 against Portage in Class 4A Valparaiso Sectional opener. CHS 3,200 relay team of Sarah Kehe, Ali Bishel, Kelly Peller and Cassie Peller set meet record at Highland Regional - Lady Trojans finish third as a team.

TR Harlan replaces Lori Jorgensen as new head volleyball coach at CHS. CHS girls tennis edge Merrillville 3-2 in regional opener, fall 3-2 in regional final against Michigan City.

Spring MVPs awarded to Tom Albano (baseball), Josh Malone (baseball), Max Goldak (track), Geoff Lambert (track), Sam Chumbley (golf), Amber Vogan (field), Kayla Vargo (softball), Cassie Peller (track), Brittany Cooley (tennis) amd Spencer West (field). CHS 3,200 relay team of Matt Osborn, Nick Stevens, Ed Lawson and Geoff Lambert take spot at Portage Regional; Spencer West wins shot put - Trojans fifth as a team.


Josh Malone hits a pair of homeruns and CHS baseball beats Crown Point 9-3 in Class 4A Merrillville Sectional opener. Alex Montagano slugs a two-run double and two-run homerun in Trojans 11-1 win over Portage in the sectional semifinal. CHS boys golf repeats as top team at Duneland Athletic Conference Meet held at the Brassie.

CMS eighth grade boys track team wins conference meet. CHS girls 3,200 relay team of Ali Bishel, Sarah Kehe, Kelly Peller and Cassie Peller repeat as state champs. Matt Maple delivers game-winning RBI in CHS 2-1 win over Valparaiso in sectional championship. CHS boys golf finish second at Valparaiso Sectional.

CHS 1,600 relay team of Ryan Wells, AJ Thompson, Joe Bailey and Geoff Lambert place second at state meet. CHS baseball falls 12-2 to Lake Central at Regional. CHS boys golf team qualify for state meet for first time since 1998 after earning the third and final spot at the LaPorte Regional held at Beechwood Golf Course.

Lakeshore gymnast Megan Erminger (2004 Victor Award) and Margret Kleppe (Myra Bachuchin-Spadafore Memorial Scholarship) earn awards. CHS boys golf fails to make cut at first day of state meet at the Legends of Indiana Golf Course.

CHS trainer Bernie Stento honored with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Athletic Trainers Association. Duneland Flyers 9 and 13-year-old baseball teams win BPA Indiana State titles. Duneland Stingrays 11-and-under traveling baseball team wins Midwest Classic in Cincinatti, Ohio.


State Parkís 11-12 year-old girls softball teams beat Lake Station 14-13 to win Little League District One Championship. Liberty Rec Flames 10-and-under softball team wins Babe Ruth District Championship. Duneland Stingrays claim Monsters of the Midway title.

John and Weezie Gates win doubles tourney at Fourth of July Tennis Tourney held at Dunes Acres. Duneland Diamond 15-year-old All-Stars beat Osceola 11-5 to win Northern Area Tourney title. State Park Jr. Softball team wins District Championship.

Duneland Swim Club members Grant Schuster and Kyle Whitaker take top spot at Irish Aquatics at Notre Dame University, while Mae and Bill Bass win NASA Invite. Duneland Diamond 15-year-old All-Stars beat Gas City 5-4 in state championship game - Jeff Gaston earns tourney MVP. Duneland Stingrays 11-and-under baseball team place third at Nationals.


Sam Chumbley and Steve St. Germain sweep top two spots at NIJGA event at Sand Creek. Duneland Diamond 15-year-old All-Stars place third at Ohio Valley Regional. Duneland Flyers 9 and 10 year-old baseball teams win tourneys.

Kristin Kalita leads CHS girls golf team to third place finish at New Prairie Invite. Duneland Swim Club places fifth at state. CHS girls golf places fourth at DAC Meet. CHS football falls to eventual Class 3A State champs Andrean 18-13 in season opener.

CHS volleyball beats Clark 3-2 for first of win of season. CHS football rallies for 21 second half points to beat Griffith 34-21. Dunes Golf Classic winners include John Kalita (Championship Flight), Dave Hampton (First Flight), Dean Jaeger (Second Flight), Ed Klodzen (Third Flight), John Kroft (Senior Flight), Mary Pomeroy (Womenís Championship) and Pam Babcock (First Flight).


CHS girls soccer falls 3-2 to Valparaiso as Vikings score game-winning goal with eight seconds left. CHS boys soccer gives up goal with 22 seconds left in 3-2 loss to Munster. CHS girls XC wins Artesian Classic at Martinsville - Mary Ballinger ends second and Sarah Kehe places third.

CHS boys XC finishes second at Artesian Classic - Matt Osborn places third and Adam Martin ends eighth. Casey Martin completes 12-of-14 passes, including two touchdowns - all in the first half - as Chesterton routs Michigan City 48-0. Duneland swimmers help Team Indiana to second place finish at the University Miami of Ohio.

Kristin Kalita cards season and career-low 40 in CHS girls golf victory over Michigan City. CHS volleyball places second at own invite. CHS football scores 21 unanswered points to stun LaPorte on its own field 21-14.

CMS XC places fourth at Popcorn Panic. CHS girls golf places sixth at Pat Ford Invite. CHS boys soccer scores three late goals to upend No. 8 Lake Central 4-1. Mary Ballinger and Sarah Kehe each finish in the top three as CHS girls XC places third at New Prairie Invite.

Adam Martin helps Trojans XC to 11th place showing at New Prairie by placing fifth individually. Brittni Choucalas and Kristen Kalita advance to LaPorte Regional - CHS girls golf finishes fourth at Valparaiso Sectional.

CMS seventh and eighth grade volleyball teams win Washington Township tourneys. CMS seventh grade girls and boys XC teams win Willowcreek Invite. CHS girls soccer wins thrilling shootout over Portage as senior goal keeper Ally Ruoff comes up huge in between the posts.

Scott Coffer comes from behind to win his No. 3 singles match to help Chesterton top Michigan City 3-2. Jason Lewis nets hat-trick as CHS boys soccer remains perfect in DAC play with 4-2 victory over Portage. CHS football scores 21 fourth quarter points in 35-19 homecoming win against Portage. Trojans tennis beats South Bend Clay 3-2 to seal second straight 10 win season.

Kristin Kalita fires an 86 at the LaPorte Regional to become just the second CHS girl golfer (Heidi Mitchell-1980) in school history to advance to state meet. CHS girls XC place fifth at Culver Invite - Mary Ballinger places second, while Kehe ends fourth.

Adam Martin ends fifth - Trojans XC place 12 at Culver Invite. CHS boys tennis blanks Andrean 5-0 for a school-best 11th win. CHS freshman football rallies late to beat rival Valparaiso 22-19.


CHS boys tennis beaten 4-1 by eventual champ Valparaiso in the Class 4A Portage Sectional - No. 1 duo of Logan Klahn and Gerard Pannekoek move on after three set victory. All four CMS cross country teams win own invite.

CHS junior varsity volleyball team takes top spot at Lowell JV Invite. Logan Klahn and Gerard Pannekoek season comes to a close after Regional loss. Kyle Whitaker ends season ranked second in the nation in the 50 and 100 fly, and third in the 200 IM.

CHS freshmen volleyball team wins Valparaiso Invite. CHS girls soccer cruises past Michigan City 5-0 in Class 4A LaPorte Sectional opener. Sarah Kehe and Mary Ballinger finish 2-3 as Lady Trojans XC team finishes runner-up at Chesterton Sectional. Adam Martin defends sectional crown and helps Trojans XC team to a third place finish at Chesterton Sectional.

CHS boys soccer team crushes Rensselaer 7-1 in the opening round of the Class 4A Wheeler Sectional. Danielle Luther nets hat trick as CHS girls soccer secure 3-2 overtime win over Portage in the LaPorte Sectional Semifinal. CHS football blow 17-7 halftime lead and a share of the DAC crown in 20-17 loss to Merrillville in season finale.

CHS girls XC team finish runners-up at New Prairie Regional - Sarah Kehe takes top spot, while Mary Ballinger ends in second. Adam Martin places third and Max Goldak ends in ninth at New Praire Regional - Trojans, as a team, place third.

CHS girls soccer team blanks South Bend Washington 3-0 to win the LaPorte Sectional Championship. CHS soccer suffers disheartening shootout loss to Boone Grove in the Wheeler Sectional Semifinal after leading almost the entire game.

CHS volleyball defeat Merrillville 3-1 in opening match at the Class 4A Valparaiso Sectional. CHS girls soccer fall 1-0 to Andrean at LaPorte Regional Final. CHS girls XC team places third at New Prairie Semistate - Ballinger and Kehe place 2-3.

CHS boys XC team seals fifth and final state qualifying spot at New Prairie Semistate - Adam Martin ends fifth. CHS football rally late, still lose 35-28 to Portage in Class 4A Sectional One opener. Chestertonís Mitey Mite Gold Pop Warner Football team caps perfect season with 6-0 record.


CHS boys XC place 13th at state - Adam Martin ends 21st. CHS girls XC place seventh at state - Sarah Kehe finishes fourth and Mary Ballinger ends 17th. Fall Sports MVPs named: Jason Lewis (soccer), Adam Martin (XC), Matt Maple (football), Zac Dawson (tennis), Jayson Jeffries (tennis), Danielle Luther (soccer), Ally Ruoff (soccer), Kelly Gaston (volleyball), Sarah Kehe (XC), Mary Ballinger (XC) and Kristin Kalita (golf).

Sand Creek Country Club names Bryan Haas new director of golf. Andy St. Germain places first in the 125-pound weight class at CHS Super Duals. Jillian Connors brings home second place high point trophy from Southside Swim Tsunami in Indianapolis.

Kyle Whitaker, Meaghan McLaughlin and Trenee Fancher-Keller break Duneland Swim Club records in season-opening meet. CHS grad Cassie Peller (Marquette University) places 149th at NCAA XC Nationals, while Lindsay Hattendorf (Indiana University) ends 213th.

CHS boys basketball blows away Morton 82-53 in season-opener. Chastity Mottinger claims first championship at South Bend Speedway. Chestertonís eight grade girls basketball AAU team finishes second at Turkey Trot Tournament at Hobart.


Chesterton Pop Warner Cheerleading teams fair well at Regional Competition - Pee Weeís (novice small) and Junior Pee Wees (novice large) place first, and Junior Midgets (intermediate large) place third. Kelly Peller hits late three-pointer to seal 45-44 win over Wheeler.

Duneland Swim Club places second at 20th Annual Munster Invite. Dunelandís Shauna Foor wins high point trophy at Highland Invite, while Michelle Buckmaster places third and Jack Kurfman ends in second. Lakeshore Gymnastics take top team spots at own Invite.

Lady Trojans swim team wins LaPorte Invite. CHS boys swim team wins white division at Munster Relays. Dunelandís swim club takes top honors at Fall Spectacular Invite held at CHS. CMS seventh grader Ryan Grassel wins 12-13 age division at Plantations Golf Tournament held in Tampa, Florida.

CHS wrestling places fifth at Tom Cameron Invite at Merrillville High School - Andy St. Germain (125) and Ethan Newham (215) each end day with perfect 5-0 records. CHS girls basketball outscore Michigan City 14-2 in the fourth quarter for 49-41 come-from-behind DAC win.

Curt Bradford drains late three to seal 57-56 DAC road win against Michigan City. Duneland Swim Club wins LaPorte Invite. CHS boys swim team post wins in 15-of-16 events to take top team spot at LaPorte Invite. Heath Cartwright commits to continue football career at Miami of Ohio University.

Kelly Peller leads late rally, scoring all 20 of Lady Trojans points in the final quarter, but CHS falls a bucket short against Class 4A No. 4 Valparaiso on the Vikings home floor. CHS boys swim team repeats as team champs at Highland Invite.

Casey Martin scores a team-high 15 points and Zach Novak totals 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals as Chestertonís boys basketball team secures a much-needed 63-53 win over previously unbeaten Valparaiso.


Posted 12/29/2004