Katie Carroll and Jenna Rekoske had weekends to remember.
Two days after skating for Loyola in the hockey state final at the United Center, Carroll and Rekoske helped the track and field team to the GCAC indoor championship Sunday at University of Chicago.
In the first event of the meet, the sophomore Carroll and the freshman Rekoske joined juniors Louisa Edwards and Chloe Huh to win the distance relay in 10 minutes, 14.77 seconds.
The Ramblers won the team title with 108 points.
“What a great story,” Loyola head coach ChrisJon Simon said.
Simon said he decided to insert Rekoske into the anchor leg after seeing her run in her first competitive high school track race Tuesday at Evanston.
“She’s a real competitor, and we have a lot of confidence in her,” he said.
Loyola concluded the meet in historic fashion by winning the 4×400 relay in a conference-record time of 4:10.94. Senior and Alabama-bound Margot Dooley, junior Jackie Topping, junior Lainey McKinley and sophomore Erin Santacrose teamed up for the victory.
“Each girl handed off the baton in first place,” Simon said. “We got better with each leg. That was fun to watch. Winning the last race and winning the meet gets the girls excited for the outdoor season.”
Making the accomplishment more meaningful was that McKinley was running at a meet for the first time in more than a year, according to Simon. She missed all of last season with injuries.
“She looked great in that race,” Simon said. “She had been practicing, but you never really know.”
Loyola also finished first in the 4×200 relay in 1:50.36 with the foursome of junior Sophia Beresheim, sophomore Addison Bendrey, sophomore Brooke Fitzgerald and sophomore Anne Santangelo.
Dooley won the 800 in 2:19.66, nearly two seconds faster than the runner-up. Simon said he’s being careful with how much he uses his star runner.
“We are picking and choosing her races and when she runs,” he said. “We don’t want to burn her out. [Sunday] was a good time to get her out there.”
Topping had a busy day. In addition to her running on the 4×400 relay, she finished fourth in the 400 (1:01.77), fourth in the long jump (15 feet, 11 3/4 inches) and fifth in the triple jump (32-8 3/4).
“She was all over the track, jumping and running,” Simon said. “But she’s a real competitor.”
Other highlights from Sunday included sophomore Raegan Robertson’s second-place finish in the 1,600 (5:36.05), and junior Emily Plodzeen and sophomore Hannah Kelly going 2-3 in the 3,200. Plodzeen took second in 11:59..36, while Kelly followed with a time of 12:21.55.
Loyola opens its outdoor season April 5 at New Trier’s invitational.