The Timaru Herald's sports reporters, Jacob Page and Stu Piddington, reflected on 2013 and came up with their picks of the best and worst.
Sportsperson of the Year
Tom Walsh (shot put)
A late charge saw Walsh improve half a metre in the past month.
On December 7 his 20.45m effort saw him eclipse the national record held by Jacko Gill.
Less than a week later, at the Zatopek Classic in Melbourne, Walsh added another 16cm to the record, which surpassed the A-standard for next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and confirms him as a qualifier for the World Indoor Champs in Poland in March.
Dylan Kennett (cycling)
The 18-year-old has moved seamlessly from the junior to elite cycling ranks.
He has represented New Zealand in World Cups in both the individual and team pursuit and is on track for the Commonwealth Games.
Ones to watch
Keanu Darby (bowls)
Timaru Boys' High School's Darby won the New Zealand Secondary Schools singles titles this month and is tipped to have a big future in the sport. He is heading to Otago this year to study.
Leanna Ryan (hurdles)
Roncalli College's Ryan broke the senior hurdles record at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships, which had been held by 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Andrea Millar. Ryan also won a Sir Edmund Hillary scholarship to study at Waikato University.
Team of the Year
Mid-South Canterbury Cycling pursuit team
The team of Dylan Kennett, Marc Ryan, Shane Archbold and Andy van der Heyden smashed the provincial record in 4 minutes 13.227s at the New Zealand Track Cycling Championships. They were on track to go even faster but caught the Southland team in the final.
South Canterbury Rugby Union (on and off the field)
Secured the Lochore Cup but that is for fifth place in a 12-team competition after a slow start to the competition. Size and resources mean we should do better. Debacles over a chief executive and appointment process of Heartland coach didn't help.
Also still awaiting outcome of alleged rape investigation in Whanganui.
Dream chaser Geraldine's Hayden Paddon got his first drive in the full World Rally Championship. It was 12 years after he first appeared in the Herald telling readers that his ultimate goal was to compete with the stars of the sport. Watch this space.
Off the radar but worth noting Midfielder Pelatia Schwartfeger's made the Mainland Pride women's football team, playing in the national league. The 18-year-old was the first from South Canterbury to play for the red and blacks.
Big year in 2014
The Commonwealth Games will appear large on many sports calendars.
South Canterbury should have three cyclists, Marc Ryan, Dylan Kennett and Shane Archbold, in the mix.
Clay target shooter Natalie Rooney and shot putter Tom Walsh have already qualified.
Cass Reid has notched up 26 internationals for the Black Sticks and will be a contender for Glasgow.
Marathon runner Sam Wreford will likely head to Boston in the hope of making the qualifying time after taking out three titles in 2013.
Geraldine's Nathan Robinson will also be a chance with the Cook Islands sevens side.
THE TIMARU HERALD's MOST-READ SPORTS STORIES IN 2013
1. Paddon excited by his rally prospects [December 12]
The World Rally Championship appears to be beckoning in 2014 for New Zealand's top driver, Hayden Paddon.
2. Long wait over for Mud Dogs [July 22]
The Mud Dog supporters howled with delight as their side's eight-year wait to return to the Hamersley Cup grand final was finally ended. Pleasant Point fans are everywhere.
3. Celtic: And that makes it five! [July 27]
The Celts again claimed the Hamersley Cup in beating Pleasant Point 22-15, giving them the best record of any club since finals were introduced.
4. Five in a row [July 29]
Celtic's fifth Hamersley Cup win in a row silenced the huge support crew Pleasant Point brought with them to Alpine Energy Stadium on Saturday.
5. New CEO Tony Lewis back where it began [July 18]
Former Otago wing Tony Lewis has been named as the chief executive for the newly combined roles within South Canterbury rugby and cricket. He lasted less than a month.
6. Schoolboy trio make squad [November 19]
The South Canterbury sevens side will need only to beat Mid Canterbury to qualify for the national tournament but coach Gareth Burgess is also hoping to knock off one of the big guns. (Unfortunately they never won a game.)
7. Rugby stalwart and businessman dies [September 18]
Former Southland rugby representative and South Canterbury coach Roger Ottrey Jackman has died suddenly, aged 75.
8. Edwards back for Heartland competition [July 29]
The return of Otago's Liam Edwards is the main feature of the first South Canterbury Heartland side of the season. (Edwards ended up the competitions to try and points scorer.)
9. Point just pipped at post [July 15]
Missing a handy conversion on fulltime cost Pleasant Point automatic entry to the Hamersley Cup grand final.
10. Thriller in store for fans; Point might hold edge [June 26]
Pleasant Point may just have enough juice in the tank to lift the Hamersley Cup tomorrow for only the second time in the club's history.
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