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Morgan Henderson. PHOTO: CASWELL IMAGES

Good luck deciding an overall winner out of this lot.

The judges of the annual Waitaki Sports Awards again have the extremely difficult job of singling out winners from a phenomenal crop of finalists.

They met this week and settled on the final contenders for the major categories.

As always, the junior categories will be hotly contested.

Junior female is a bunfight between a rugby rock star (Cheyenne Cunningham), a netball prodigy (Taneisha Fifita) and a dynamic new Zealand touch representative (Jasmine Hunter).

It is a similar case in the junior male category, where it will be hard to separate squash maestro Keidah Bungard, cricket tyro Llew Johnson and New Zealand rowing champion James Scott.

Motocross queen Courtney Duncan and rising rugby star Morgan Henderson are the only two finalists in the sportswoman of the year, while New Zealand junior rower Mark Taylor, Otago Volts cricketer Nathan Smith and multi-talented cyclist Tim Rush form a classy line-up in the sportsman of the year race.

Swimming guru Narcis Gherca and Abbey McKenzie, a netball coach rising rapidly through the ranks, are the contenders for coach of the year.

Team of the year will go to the St Kevin’s College trap shooting team, the Waitaki Boys’ High School junior basketballers, or the rowing combination of Scott and Jared Brenssell.

Awards for emerging talent (boys and girls), services to sport, official, athlete with disability, and masters athlete will also be presented at the awards at the Oamaru Opera House on March 19.

The guest speaker at the Waitaki Sports Awards will be World Cup-winning Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge.

Judges are Diane Talanoa, Nicki Paterson, Trevor James, Terry O’Neill, Des McMaster, Mark Julius and Mitch McRae.