Track holds first home meet in more than three decades

Gabe Pickett and Demeshia Davis guided the Owls to a first-place finish.


The hands of teammates and coaches loudly clapped for senior Gabe Pickett as he prepared to compete in his first triple jump during competition on Main Campus. Pickett sprinted down the track and lunged himself for an IC4A-qualifying mark of 15.01 and a first-place finish.

Pickett added another first-place finish with a long jump of 7.05 meters that was also a season best.

“It was great,” Pickett said. “I came out today trying to set a season best in front of my friends and family at my home track so I was pretty excited.”

The Owls Alumni Invitational marked the first time since the 1970s that Temple held a track meet at home. Coach Eric Mobley’s teams earned first place against La Salle, Harcum College and Cheney University of Pennsylvania. The women’s team scored 87 points to La Salle’s 34 and the men’s team scored 79 points to La Salle’s 36.

In the men’s 1,500-meter race,  junior Matt Kacyon took first place with a time of 3:53.28. Kacyon was assisted by his teammate Ryan Debarberie, who ran alongside him for the first 800 meters as they both remained ahead of the other competitors. Debarberie’s presence kept Kacyon going and held off any runners from charging past him. After the race, Kacyon was quick to credit Barberie for the assistance.

“In this race I would like to thank Ryan Debarberie for [running] that first eight with me,” Kacyon said. “I think everyone came out here with positive attitudes and I think that is what is helping in our competitions.”

Debarberie got his own recognition a little while later when he won fourth place in the 3,000 meter race with a time of 8:55.52, followed by teammate Will Maltin for a time of 9:00.13

Leading the women’s team was sophomore Demeshia Davis, who took first place in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Both the 11.94 meter performance in the 100 and 24.33 meter performance in the 200 were personal bests and ECAC-qualifying marks.

Four other women took first place as freshmen Simone Brownlee won the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.82. Michelle Timothy Davis in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.56, Simone Chapman won the triple jump with a distance of 11.25 meters and Kaitlyn McSurdy won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.13.

“I think I did pretty well,” McSurdy said. “I have been working on some things from the last race and it is good to see them pay off.”

The men’s relay team of Jamal Williams, Alimamy Kalley, Elijah Hargrove and Adam Hassan took first place in the men’s 4×100 relay and set a season best of 42.40.

“I didn’t even know it was a season best, but it looked good and felt good so I am happy that it is,” Williams said.

Kallay and Hassan also finished in third and fifth place in the men’s 100-meter dash for times of 11:00 and 11:07, respectively.

Thrower Margo Britton was not competing in the event, but junior teammate Kiersten LaRoche picked up the slack with a first place finish in the javelin throw with a distance of 30.54 meters.

Junior Evan Battallico powered the men in the shot put to take first place with a distance of 14.65 meters.

Seniors Dylan Pensyl and Marcus Roberston finished fifth and sixth in the men’s 400-meter dash with times of 51:65 and 52:03, respectively.

Freshmen Joe Sulon continues to improve as he posted second place finish in the 800-meter dash for a time of 2:03.61.

Senior distance runner Anna Pavone took second place in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:37.54.

Freshmen Jimmia McCluskey and Bionca St. Fleur got a look at the next level of competition when they finished second and third in the long jump to their own assistant coach, Shameka Marshall. Marshall is a former Rutgers two-time All-American.

Rounding out the alumni competition was Josue Louis who is a former Temple-grad of 2011. Louis took first in the men’s high jump with a distance of 2.00 meters and also took first in the men’s 110-meter hurdle with a time of 14.76.

The Owls return to action April 24-26 in the Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

Stephen Godwin can be reached at or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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