Rotorua athletes excelled in various sporting codes throughout 2018 and you get the feeling some were only just getting started. Here are sports reporter David Beck's 10 local individuals to keep an eye on (in no particular order).

- Tayla Earle (netball)

Rotorua's Tayla Earle has signed with the Northern Mystics for the 2019 season. Photo / File
Rotorua's Tayla Earle has signed with the Northern Mystics for the 2019 season. Photo / File

The 18-year-old, who started secondary school at Rotorua Girls' High School and at the end of Year 10 moved to Auckland to attend Saint Kentigern College, has signed with ANZ Premiership team the Northern Mystics for the 2019 season. Now the real work begins as she fights for a place on the court.

- Kaleb Trask (rugby)

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Rotorua's Kaleb Trask in action for the Bay of Plenty Steamers. Photo / Getty Images
Rotorua's Kaleb Trask in action for the Bay of Plenty Steamers. Photo / Getty Images

This year was one in which Trask took massive steps in his rugby career. He represented New Zealand at the Under-20 Rugby World Cup, led the Bay of Plenty Under-19s to the Jock Hobbs Memorial title and started the majority of the Bay of Plenty Steamers' Mitre 10 Cup games after Mike Delany was injured. With Delany now retired there should be plenty of opportunities for Trask to further his game this year.

- Anja Jennings (weightlifting/crossfit)

Crossfit Rotorua's Anja Jennings, 15, broke several national weightlifting records last year. Photo / File
Crossfit Rotorua's Anja Jennings, 15, broke several national weightlifting records last year. Photo / File

The 15-year-old burst on to the weightlifting scene in September when she broke national records for the snatch and clean and jerk in the under-15, under-53kg girls' division at Secondary Schools Nationals. Two weeks later she beat her own records at the New Zealand Junior Olympic Weightlifting Championships. National talent scouts have taken notice and with aspirations of competing at the Crossfit Games as well, it appears the world is Anja's oyster in 2019.

- Blake Evans (motorsport)

Last year Blake Evans won the Formula First Winter Series. Photo / File
Last year Blake Evans won the Formula First Winter Series. Photo / File

In 2018, at just 14 years of age, Rotorua's Blake Evans joined the likes of New Zealand racing legend Nick Cassidy in becoming one of the youngest winners of the Formula First Winter Series. He has since taken his racing to the next level with a move up to the Formula Ford class. He has shown great maturity during his short career so far and seems destined for greater things.

- Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (rugby)

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (left) talks tactics with Aaron Smith. Photo / Getty Images
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (left) talks tactics with Aaron Smith. Photo / Getty Images

In 2018 the former Rotorua Boys' High School student did what every young rugby player dreams of - made his All Blacks debut. An impressive Super Rugby season with the Chiefs saw him shoot up the national halfback rankings. While he did get a lot of game time for the All Blacks, he spent much of the year in camp with them and is in a great position to push for a World Cup spot.

- Lisa Adams (athletics)

Rotorua para athlete Lisa Adams is trying her hand at athletics and showing great promise. Photo / File
Rotorua para athlete Lisa Adams is trying her hand at athletics and showing great promise. Photo / File

Having famous siblings like Valerie and Steve Adams comes with a bit of pressure, but Lisa takes it in her stride. She has a form of cerebral palsy which affects one side of her body, but is willing to try her hand at most sports. Last year she gave para-athletics a go and in her first competitive outing won the shot put and discus at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships. Rumour has it she spent some of the off-season training with Valerie. Watch this space.

- Hayze Perham (rugby league)

Hayze Perham in action for the Warriors against the Melbourne Storm during a pre-season game in Rotorua last year. Photo / File
Hayze Perham in action for the Warriors against the Melbourne Storm during a pre-season game in Rotorua last year. Photo / File

Perham made this list last year when, fresh out of Rotorua Boys' High School, he signed an NRL contract with the Warriors. In 2018 he was a dominant force in the Intrust Super Premiership and now, with Shaun Johnson's shock more to Cronulla, Perham is among the frontrunners to replace him in the halves this season.

- James Tauariki (golf)

Rotorua teen James Tauariki scored 13-under at Springfield Golf Course. Photo / File
Rotorua teen James Tauariki scored 13-under at Springfield Golf Course. Photo / File

James has had the potential to be our next great golfer for years, but in 2018 the 16-year-old made national headlines when he scored a 13-under par 57 at Springfield Golf Course, one of the lowest rounds of golf ever seen in New Zealand.

- Sarah Walker (BMX)

Sarah Walker has her eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo / File
Sarah Walker has her eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo / File

Olympic silver medalist Walker has had a horror run of injuries in recent years, but she is letting nothing crush her dream of competing in Tokyo next year. She made her way back onto a world cup podium in 2018, showing she still has what it takes to compete at the highest level, and will face some crucial racing this year in her efforts to qualify for another Olympics.

- Lewis Ryan (triathlon)

Rotorua's Lewis Ryan took first place at Xterra Taiwan. Photo / File
Rotorua's Lewis Ryan took first place at Xterra Taiwan. Photo / File

Ryan is an accomplished mountain biker, but after competing at Xterra Rotorua early last year he decided to work on his weaknesses and become a more well-rounded athlete. Then, in September, he outraced some classy opposition to finish first at Xterra Taiwan. Keep an eye out for him on more podiums this year.