Men’s track & field reaches end

Temple’s Gabe Pickett and Matt Kaycon failed to make it out of the NCAA East Regional preliminary round Friday, ending the team’s season.

Gabe Pickett left it all out there.

He felt great going into his third appearance at the NCAA East Region Preliminary meet. He had a great warmup, and his mindset was in a good place. He knew that he belonged in Jacksonville, Fla. with the rest of the competition.

The senior only wished that things turned out differently in what would eventually be his, and his team’s, last meet.

Competing in the triple jump, Pickett had three faults in the first three rounds, finishing in a five-way tie for last out of a field of 48 runners.

Meanwhile, junior Matt Kaycon, in his second east regional appearance, placed 10th in the first heat and 28th overall out of a field of 48 in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of eight minutes, 59.38 seconds.

Kacyon’s season drew to a close after he posted a personal-best time of 8:51.53 at the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of Amateur Athletes Championships. That time had given the junior a third place finish at the event and the 16th fastest time among East Regional qualifiers.

A strong senior year for Pickett has also reached the end of the road. After undergoing meniscus surgery in the fall, Pickett would go on to earn victories at the North Carolina Relays in the triple jump and at the Owls Alumni Invitational, the first meet hosted at Temple since the 1970s, in the triple and long jump.

He also took a fifth place finish in the long jump and a fourth place finish in the triple jump at the Penn Relays, followed by another fourth place finish in the triple jump at the American Athletic Conference Outdoor championships, a performance that would qualify him for East regionals with a 15.16-meter jump.

Pickett, who has one more semester and then graduate school in his future, was already facing the end of his collegiate career. But right now, he hasn’t processed any of that.

“I guess you can say it hasn’t hit me yet,” Pickett said. “But I had a great run at Temple. I’ve had a lot of great teammates, and got to go to a lot of places that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.”

Unfortunately for Pickett and the rest of his Temple squad, this isn’t a situation where he and the four other seniors on the roster move on, while the younger athletes try to push the team forward.

Due to the Dec. 6 athletic cuts, the entire men’s track and field program, with its 89-year run, has now run its course with the last competition of its final season.

Kacyon, at the very least, is staying put. He will still compete for the cross country team and will continue his studies as a film major with a minor in digital media.

“I’m happy here,” Kacyon said.

Nick Tricome can be reached at or on Twitter @itssnick215.

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