THERE are 17 finalists in the running for the Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year for 2013-14.
The 49th presentation of the awards, proudly sponsored by Bendigo Bank, will be held on Friday, February 28 at the All Seasons in Bendigo.
Shotgun shooting ace Emma Cox became the 15th finalist when adjudged the December winner.
Cox was top gun as she won the women's trap at the Oceania shooting titles.
The 21-year-old beat Olympic champion Suzy Balogh and World Cup medallists Laetisha Scanlan and Catherine Skinner to claim gold at the titles in Sydney.
Cox won silver in the double trap and is in contention for this year's team to compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The talented shooter is studying teaching at Latrobe University in Bendigo.
Cyclists Braeden Dean and Jack Haig were joint winners for January.
Dean and Haig excelled on the track and road respectively in a superb start to the year.
It was a gold rush for Dean at the national track cycling championships on Adelaide's Super-Drome.
Dean won the under-19s 1km time trial, kierin and team sprint finals.
He was runner-up in the individual sprint, but was Australia's No.1 competitor in the discipline.
A key feature of Dean's regime is strength training at Feelgood Fitness. Dean is a strong contender to represent Australia at the world junior track championships in Seoul in late July.
Jack Haig marked his first World Tour by earning the Best Young Rider award in the Tour Down Under through South Australia.
The 20-year-old starred for Avanti in the five-stage classic. Haig was 17th overall and finished 2.08 minutes behind tour champion Simon Gerrans.
The Tour Down Under field included Tour de France champion Cadel Evans.
Next major hit-out for Haig will be the under-23s time trial and road race at the Oceania road championships in Toowoomba.
The Sports Star of the Year includes the Cyril Michelsen Trust Fund and Maxine Crouch Trust Fund awards.
Another highlight of the night will be the naming of the Sports Focus Administrator of the Year.
Finalists for the Bendigo Bank-backed Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year for 2013-14:
February: Aaron Wilson, lawn bowls; Peta Mullens, mountain bike racing.
March: Bendigo Spirit, basketball.
April: Rebecca Mann, kayaking; Jenna Strauch, swimming; Oliver Wines, AFL.
May: Sam Kerridge, AFL; Jaclyn Wilson, BMX.
June: Lucas Herbert, golf.
July: Troy Hewkins, weightlifting.
August: Bendigo Thunder, AFL.
September: Joel Selwood, AFL.
October: Matthew Dellavedova, basketball; Caitlin Thwaites, netball.
November: no award.
December: Emma Cox, shotgun shooting.
January: Braeden Dean, track cycling; and Jack Haig, road cycling.