Vote for your top five local athletes in sports star awards

THE Coffs Coast Advocate wants your help in compiling a list of the top five Coffs Coast athletes of the decade.

Our resident sport gurus have narrowed the list down to the top ten local athletes of the decade, but your help is required to name the top five.

>> You can vote here in our online poll

The top five list selected by you, the readers, will appear in a two page feature alongside our sport editor's top picks on Saturday, March 16.

With such great local exports the voting is set to be ultra competitive.

The top 10 sports stars selected (in alphabetical order) by sports editor Brad Greenshields is:

Alexandra Croak (Gymnastics/Diving)

Courtney Hancock (Ironwoman)

Phillip Hughes (Cricket)

Harley Ingleby (Longboard Surfing)

Greg Inglis (Rugby League)

Emma Moffatt (Triathlon)

Ben Newton (Wheelchair Rugby)

Zac Purton (Jockey)

Cassie Scully (Sport Aerobics)

Takeover Target (Horse Racing)

Let us know what you think by casting your vote and leaving a comment on this story.

The best comments will also be considered for publication.

To help you out here is a quick bio of the top 10 nominations.

Alexandra Croak - Gymnastics/Diving

Having already competed at Olympic and Commonwealth Games level in 2000 and 2002 as a gymnast, Croak made the switch to diving where she became Australia's first athletes to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in two different sports. The 28 year-old also won a silver medal at the 2011 world championships in the synchronised 10m platform.

Courtney Hancock - IronWoman

Winning the Telstra Ironwoman Series twice in the last three summers with a third place finish in between has put the former Sawtell nipper at the very pinnacle of surf lifesaving in Australia. Mastering so many physical disciplines in such a gruelling sport, it is Hancock's consistently strong performances that make her a champ.

Phillip Hughes - Cricket

The youngest player to make a century in each innings of a Test match as well as the youngest to score a ton in a Sheffield Shield final. The Macksville left-hander was destined for a baggy green from a very young age and he now has 22 Tests next to his name.

Harley Ingleby - Longboard Surfing

Riding any number of his Dad's large collection of boards at Emerald Beach since he was 4, Ingleby was going to make it big in surfing and has been one of the best in the world on a longboard since joining the World Tour in 2005.

First victory was in France in 2008 but it was the win in Japan in 2009 that set the 29 year-old for his world title. Currently ranked No2 in the world.

Greg Inglis - Rugby League

Inglis will go down in history as one of the greats of rugby league.

The Bowraville junior was named as the world's best player in 2009 after winning the Clive Churchill Medal as best player in the 2007 NRL grand final. Has scored the most State of Origin tries in history with 14 from 18 appearances.

Emma Moffatt - Triathlon

Claiming a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics was only the beginning of a great run for the Woolgoolga girl with triathlons in her genetic make-up. Moffatt went on to claim world champion titles in 2009 and 2010 and could've won another Olympic medal in London if not for a fall during the bike leg. Still ranked among the top 10 in the world.

Ben Newton - Wheelchair rugby

Winning a gold medal in wheelchair rugby at the London Paralympics was the crowning glory for the former Orara High student who has been playing in the in the National Wheelchair Rugby League with the Gold Coast.

In 2010 the now 25 year-old was named in the national league's All Star Four and made his debut for Australia in 2011.

Zac Purton - Jockey

Originally indentured to Trevor Hardy, Purton claimed a Brisbane jockeys premiership in Brisbane while still an apprentice before moving to Hong Kong in 2007-08.

Last year the Zak Attack won a Group 1 at Royal Ascot on Little Bridge before representing Hong Kong in the World Super Jockey Series held in Japan. The 30 year-old recorded two wins and was crowned champion.

Currently in a neck and neck battle for the title of best jockey in Hong Kong.

Cassie Scully - Sport Aerobics

The Sapphire Beach pocket rocket packs more exercise into a two minute sport aerobics routine than most people do in a year.

After being a world junior champion, Scully was consistently in top five women in the world at the World Championships with her best result being a second place in 2011 at the Gold Coast. In October, Scully teamed up with Anthony Ikin in mixed pairs to finally win the elusive senior world title she'd been yearning for.

Takeover Target - Horse Racing

Archie was already a star when he moved with trainer Joe Janiak to Coffs Harbour in 2007 but he continued his sensational form as a local winning another three Group 1 races.

In Singapore he won the KrisFlyer International Sprint before finishing second and fourth in his two Royal Ascot starts to be named Australian Champion International Performer for a third year.

He then won two Group races in Perth before claiming more Group 1 victories in Adelaide and Sydney.



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