Kulsen collects SA record as juniors lead the way at nationals | SASCOC - SASCOC

Kulsen collects SA record as juniors lead the way at nationals

It was the young riders that rode with extra fervour and a few national records tumbled on the second day of the 2016 South African Track and Para-cycling Championships at the Westbourne Oval in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, with Mia Fortuin (U12G), Ethan Kulsen (U12B) and Chante Olivier (U14G) all smashing 1500-metre Individual Pursuit records.
Young and old have been enjoying the beautiful Port Elizabeth weather on the cycle track, with age groups younger than 10-years-old right up to over 70 years of age competing for the National Championship titles in their respective age groups, over and above the crowd-attracting Elite and Junior groups. Each category is as highly competitive as the next.
Clover Prestigio’s Charlene du Preez claimed yet another victory at the Championships when she won the Elite Women’s 1500m in 2min 01.70sec. Bernette Beyers (Energas) and Maroesjka Matthee (BestMed ASG) finished in second and third respectively. Jennifer Abbot (Panda) claimed the Junior women’s victory in the 1500m in 2:37.83, with Anja Gerber second and Danielle van Niekerk (VWE Track Academy) third.
The 1000m Sprint saw Sven van Straaten and Willie Marx in the men’s 60-and-over category dice each other in two heats, with Van Straaten winning both Final Heats over the local cycling legend Marx.
Young Ethan Kulsen was one of the riders to set a new National Record on the second day of competition, winning the under-12 Boys’ 1500-metre Individual Pursuit (IP) in a time of 2:25.96. The Paarl-based rider felt exhausted after his strenuous race.
‘All the training that I did was only for that race. I thought it would be hard but it wasn’t that hard although I was still tired after the race. But at the end of the day I was very happy. I didn’t know that I would break the record, so I’m very excited about that. I still have the 3K (Scratch Race) and Team Pursuit (TP) to do. I’m still tired after yesterday’s IP race so I’m not sure about the 3K but I’m very excited about the Team Pursuit.’
Young Kulsen loves Port Elizabeth and looks forward to getting to the beach before he heads home with his proud parents, Elrick and Michelle Kulsen. Speaking about his son’s new record, Elrick said: ‘It feels nice, we worked hard for it. He was very committed in his training. I’m surprised that he won by more than two seconds, I thought it would be much closer than that.’
Mom Michelle explained how dedicated Ethan is to his training and was surprised at his performance since the Individual Pursuit is his least favourite race. ‘He is a very dedicated young man and he never complains. What surprised me the most is that he was actually going out there to get the race over and done with, and then the record came. We are so extremely proud of him. He trains tremendously hard and the hard work has paid off.’
Team SA’s cycling coach at the 2012 London Paralympics, Elrick, commonly known as Ricky was impressed and encouraged by the immense growth in numbers of the young riders at this year’s Track Championships. ‘I think its great for cycling. Last year, the under-10 age group only had about three riders and the under-12 about three or four. This year, they have 12 riders in the under-14 Boys category only!
‘These riders come from the cycling provinces that are very track committed, like the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Province. So the future looks good for track cycling.’
This year’s SA Track and Para-cycling Championships organiser, Jenny Meyer, also expressed her joy at the increase in entries this year. ‘We’ve had an awesome amount of entries this year and it’s all the best track cyclists in the country so it really is a great show of cycling, this is absolutely brilliant!
‘We’ve had a lot of 10-and-under riders taking part, which is so encouraging for the development of track cycling in the country.’

Picture of Ethan Kulsen in action courtesy of Darren Goddard

Summary of results

Elite Women 1500m
1 Charlene du Preez 2:01.70
2 Bernette Beyers
3 Maroesjka Matthee

Junior Women 1500m
1 Jennifer Abbot 2:37.83
2 Anja Gerber
3 Danielle van Niekerk

35-44 Women 1500m
1 Amanda Wray 2:42.50
2 Monique King
3 Megan Staples

U16 Girls Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1 Kelsey van Schoor 15.07 [1]
2 Simone Farber [1]
1 Ashleigh Parsons 16.66 [2]
2.Cortney Smith [2]

35-44 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1 Monique King 13.92 [1]
2 Amanda Wray [1]
1 Megan Staples 16.00 [2]
2 Angela Scruby [2]

50-59 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1 Riana Berndine Minnaar 15.05
2 Val Scheppel
3. Amanda Akom

50-59 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1 Riana Berndine Minnaar 16.10
2 Val Scheppel
3 Amanda Akom

Under-10 Girls Individual Pursuit (1000m)
1 Kyla Uys 1:51.17
2 Emma Swart 1:56.64

Under-10 Boys Individual Pursuit (1000m)
1 Allessandro Fanicchi 1:52.51
2 Nathan Hattingh 1:53.34
3 Waylin Meyer 2:08.69

Under-12 Girls Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1 Mia Fortuin 2:39.45 (New SA Record)
2 Kita Uys 2:39.57
3 Megan Meyer 2:42.78

Under-12 Boys Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1 Ethan Kulsen 2:25.96 (New SA Record)
2 Blaise Stainbank 2:30.23
3 Zakariyyaa Martin 2:30.91

Under-14 Girls Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1 Chante Olivier 2:15.95 (New SA Record)
2 Mischka Strydom 2:30.36
3 Ashleigh Mayhead 2:34.98

Under-14 Boys Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1 Dian Jenjetich 2:12.50
2 Benjamin Brown 2:13.47
3 Christiaan Klopper 2:18.06

Under-16 Boys Time Trial (500m)
1 Keagan Bontekoning 38.29
2 Daniel John Skews 38.85
3 Matthew Fortuin 38.88

60+ Men Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1 Sven van Straaten 13.46
2 Willie Marx

60+ Men Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1 Sven van Straaten 13.51
2 Willie Marx