Southland's junior athletes have achieved international and national sporting feats over the past year, with seven finalists set to be recognised at the Southland Sports Awards tomorrow night.
Sport Southland board chairman Ginge Burnett said the consistently outstanding perform-ances from Southland's young athletes made the Vodafone Junior Sportsperson of the Year category the largest category in the ILT Southland Sports Awards.
"It's really exciting for the future of Southland sport to see so many athletes excel at such a young age," Burnett said.
"The achievements of these young athletes are exceptional and the events they are competing in are world class. From international to national successes, these junior athletes are really putting Southland on the map as a fantastic place to enjoy sport."
The ILT Southland Sports Awards, co-ordinated by Sport Southland, are on tomorrow night at the Ascot Park Hotel and will celebrate the south's best sporting achievements over the qualifying period, which spans April 1, 2013 through to 31 March, 2014.
The Southland Times takes a look at finalists in all categories.
JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
Kristen Froude (Rowing)
Froude was part of the New Zealand women's four that won bronze at the World U23 Championships in Austria last year, and continued good form has seen her selected in the New Zealand U23 women's quad. Froude, 19, also picked up two golds and two silvers at the New Zealand Rowing Nationals at Lake Karapiro.
Joshua Haggerty (Cycling)
Haggerty's great year on the bike was highlighted by two silver medals at the UCI Junior World Track Cycling Championships in the men's U19 scratch race and the team pursuit. Amongst other results were four medals at the New Zealand track nationals, gold in the road nationals, silver in the Oceania track championships and winning all three jerseys in the U19 section of the Junior Tour of Southland (Yellow, Sprint Ace and King of the Mountain).
Laura Overton (Athletics)
Overton had a great year with the javelin, winning silver in the senior women's javelin at the Oceania Track and Field Championships in Tahiti and gold in the U18 event at the same meet. She also won the New Zealand secondary schools' javelin title and the New Zealand U20 Championships.
Tori Peeters (Athletics)
Peeters threw her way into New Zealand's record books over the qualifying period, with a great year in javelin. Not only did she win the senior women's javelin title at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships, but she also broke the national record that had stood for more than 15 years, with a throw of 54.45m. She also holds the national U20 javelin record.
Jeremy Presbury (Cycling)
At the UCI Junior World Track Cycling Championships, Presbury sped his way to silver in the sprint, was a semifinalist in the kierin and finished fourth in the team sprint - with the fastest sprint time from a New Zealand junior team. Presbury won four medals at the New Zealand track nationals, including gold in the U19 kierin, and also won gold in the team sprint at the elite track nationals.
Jordan Rackham (Athletics)
Rackham ran his way to some excellent results over the qualifying period. He won the New Zealand Secondary Schools' 1500m title, along with three silver medals at the Oceania Track and Field Championships in Tahiti in the U18 1500m, the U18 2000m steeplechase and as a member of the New Zealand 4x400m team. He was selected in the New Zealand secondary schools' paper team and won silver at the national road championships over 6km.
Nicole White (Equestrian)
White became the first Southlander to win the Young Riders Series, with some outstanding results. With the top 12 results counting, she picked up eight wins and four second placings. At the Horse of the Year Five-Star International Show she won the New Zealand Speed Horse of the Year and placed fourth in the New Zealand Lady Rider of the Year.
- The Southland Times