Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kissena Velodrome Records - by Larry DeSario

Back in the 60's, 70's, 80's records were talked about among the track aficionados.  We had no internet then. Prior to 72-73 most talk centered on Jack Simes III.  I remember a labor day meet (1968?) in which Preston Handy attempted to break the 200 meter tt record of Simes which was announced to be 11.6, but he missed it riding an 11.85.

After I rode my flying lap and 200m times at Kissena I asked Jack Simes what his times were when he rode there.  He told me he would have to look them up in his notes but he did say that 11.6 was the time he remembers as being his best.  I've seen in training (1970) Sam Zeitland (The Brooklyn Flash) knocking off mid 11's one particular afternoon. He rode gears 46x14 and 47x14.

I thought the kilometer record was 1.13, being performed either during the 1964 Nationals or Olympic trials. The crowds in attendance were huge.  Jesus Portalatin rode a 1.13 as a Junior in 1970.  When Steve Woznick set his kilometer time of 1.12.4 at the New Jersey State Championships it was said to be the fastest time at Kissena.  As far as I know, nobody broke Woznick's record of 1.12.4 until Colin Prensky's ride. When I saw that he rode it on Opening Day in May I was duly impressed.  It should be noted that Keith Rapasardi rode a 1.13.7 winning the NYS Kilo Title in 1985.

Colin Prensky - Fastest Kilo time 1:11.10 on May 7, 2011

For the Pursuits I may have somewhere the times ridden in the 1970 nationals held there (Chauner vs VandeVelde).  However, with the technology (aero bars/discs) there has to be faster times by the more recent cyclists.

All of this is unofficial, again, there was no internet or precise record keeping at Kissena that I know of.  However, it should be noted that prior to 1973-74 Kissena was the only Velodrome on the east coast.  It was frequented by many of the top cyclists of it's day.  In 1972 we had a Pro-Am competition in which some of the Raleigh Pros and some other internationals competed against the local elite east team.  I have some 8mm footage that I would like to convert to disc.  Some pretty neat historical stuff.

I moved to South Florida in 1986.  This was before Kirk Whiteman’s time. I met Kirk at Manchester when he won the Worlds there.  I have no idea of his times at Kissena. In the early 80's Nelson Vails arrived on the scene. Nelson rode the kilo in 1982 (we tied at  1.16.3) but not the sprints.  He was doing most of his training elsewhere so I can't really say what flying 200 times he did.   Perhaps, somebody from that time frame can fill in the gaps. I do know, that in 1983 Nelson just improved tremendously, winning the sprints at the Pan Ams. He was a fantastic jumper.


Hour record by Ken Harris:

Ken Harris - holds the Hour Record for Kissena (110 Laps) 8/21/2008


Flying 200 Meter = 11.6 by Jack Simes III (unofficial)

Flying One Lap 400 Meter = ?

Standing Start 400 meter =30.72 Chris Barbaria on 6/28/2009 (unofficial)

Sanding Start 500 meter =?

1000 meter (Kilo) = 1:11.10 by Colin Prensky on 5/7/2011 (unofficial)

1600 meter = 2.01.19 by Colin Prensky on 6/28/2009 (unofficial)

2000 meter =?

3000 meter =?

Hour Record = 110 laps by Ken Harris on 8/21/2008 (official)

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