Outstanding achievements throughout the year has earned rower Jamie Harris and judoka Keightley Watson the Ray White Whanganui Secondary Schools International Sportswomen and Sportsman of the Year awards.

Both athletes were presented their awards at a function at Whanganui High School last evening.

Seventeen-year-old Watson, a student at WHS, has had an outstanding 12 months in Judo. He was selected to fight for New Zealand in many tournaments such as the Hong Kong Asia cup, the Macau Asian cup, the Bremen German Open, the Netherlands Dutch Open and a variety of Australia and New Zealand tournaments where he rarely returned without medals, mostly gold.

At the International Judo Federation Macau Asia Junior Cup he received a silver medal, while at the International Judo Federation Hong Kong Asia Junior Cup he received a bronze.

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Watson has a medal tally of 18 gold medals, five silver and five bronze within this qualifying period.

And he has already earned himself a likely nomination for next year's awards by making New Zealand judo history at the New Zealand Judo Championships in Christchurch where he won six gold in three different divisions, including the Senior Open Weight Men's title.

For that victory he brought home the Champions Cup, a trophy his uncle Wayne Watsomn won eight times, the last 22 years ago in 1996. He also completed another batsugan and has now obtained his 2nd dan black belt — again a first for a 17-year-old.

Rowing has traditionally featured strong at Whanganui sports awards and now Wanganui Collegiate rower Harris has added her name to an illustrious group.

WCS rower Jamie Harris has been named Whanganui Secondary Schools Senior International Sportswomen of the Year.
WCS rower Jamie Harris has been named Whanganui Secondary Schools Senior International Sportswomen of the Year.

Harris' outstanding results at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships resulted in selection to trial at Lake Karapiro for the New Zealand team to compete at the World Junior Rowing Champs in the Czech Republic in August 2018.

After a gruelling week of testing, psychological testing and numerous seat races, Harris won her way into the Quad Scull for the New Zealand team. The whole team trained at Lake Karapiro for a couple of months before travelling in August.

Her top two achievements were competing at the World Champs in Czech Republic in the Junior coxless quad scull placing third in the B final and a world ranking of 9th. At the New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs in the U18 coxed four she was awarded a bronze medal in the A final. Harris has a bright future in the water.

In the Junior International section, 14-year-old Cullinane College student Amorangi Rayner took the Sportswomen of the Year title for her deeds in weightlifting, while WCS' Kyle Hoskin claimed the Sportsman of the Year mantle for cycling.

For a young 14-year-old, Rayner has accomplished and overcome so many goals within a sport she is passionate about. She has the mentality of a champion who creates positivity out of barriers that occur.

Rayner was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the 2018 Oceania Championships, is the New Zealand record holder in the Under 15 U58kg Snatch and broke a total of 12 New Zealand records, seven of them were gained at international level competition at the Oceanias. She also won gold in the Secondary School Nationals Weightlifting in the Under 15s 58kg division.

Hoskin has cycled since Year 9 at WCS. He has been a high achiever in the sport throughout his time of competing in both road and track racing. He has been a team member as a cyclist in National Schools-placing teams in U14 and U16 events for triathlon and duathlon.

In 2018 he was selected in the New Zealand U17 team for the Goulburn Tour which took place in Australia in April. The New Zealand team consisted of six male and five female cyclists. This is a big junior tour that is also run as the New South Wales Championships.

Overall Hoskin finished 8th and was the third Kiwi home. At the New Zealand Track Nationals he was in the under 17 grade and was 7th in the individual pursuit and 4th in the team pursuit. In the New Zealand Schools Track Nationals in the under 17 grade, he was first in the team pursuit and 3rd in the points race.