Alyce Burnett won the women's K1 5000 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo: Bence Vekassy
Alyce Burnett won the women's K1 5000 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo: Bence Vekassy

Year in review: Thrilling 2019 for Coast athletes

FROM world gold medals and records to national titles and breakthrough displays - it was certainly another massive year for the Sunshine Coast's dedicated athletes.

In an effort to pay homage to those efforts and highlight the momentous year that was for sport, the Daily short-listed a talented list of 27 athletes, with help from readers, for public vote as part of the Daily's best-of series.

Readers were quick to vote on what had impressed them most, with the below a snapshot of the successful 2019 enjoyed by the region's athletes in order of those voting results.

 

 

Alyce Burnett won the women's K1 5000 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo: Bence Vekassy
Alyce Burnett won the women's K1 5000 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo: Bence Vekassy

 

Alyce Wood (nee Burnett) (Kayaking): Won the K1 200 and K1 500 national titles. Won gold in K1 5000 and snared silver in K1 1000 at World Cup events in Germany and Poland. She also helped Australia earn its Olympic quota spot in the women's K4 for Tokyo alongside fellow Coaster Alyssa Bull, Jaime Roberts and Jo Brigden-Jones at the Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Julian Wilson (surfing): Battled his way to a provisional spot on the Australian team destined for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after finishing the World Surf League's Championship Tour 11th overall and as the second-highest ranked Australian in the standings. His best result for the season was a podium third at the Margaret River Pro.

 

 

Peregian's Cassie Porter was named Queensland's Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the Year recently. Picture: Golf Australia
Peregian's Cassie Porter was named Queensland's Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the Year recently. Picture: Golf Australia

Cassie Porter (golf): The 17-year-old took out the Northern Territory Women's Amateur in April before stamping her mark on the world stage in June by being crowned joint winner of the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.

Porter also took out the Jack Newton International Junior Classic in October before capping the year in stellar style by winning the Greg Norman Junior Masters and Victorian Junior Open.

Lani Pallister (swimming): The teenager was named swimmer of the meet at the FINA world junior championships after winning the 400m, 800m and 1500m free in the meet in record time.

Pallister also cleaned up at the Australian Age Championships in Adelaide, taking a clean gold sweep in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle races.

She also set a new Australian Age record in the women's 1500m freestyle at the Aussie World Swimming Trials.

She was crowned the Australian U15 ironwoman champ and also won a surf race at the world lifesaving championships.

She was named the Queensland junior sportsperson.

The teenager was also awarded the "One to Watch" accolade at the Women's Health Women in Sport Awards.

Ashleigh Gentle (triathlon): Although Gentle is not a Coast resident, she powered her way to an iconic record in the region in 2019.

She became the most successful athlete at the Noosa Triathlon with a seventh victory in November.

 

 

Moses Mbye of the Maroons is tackled during game three of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Moses Mbye of the Maroons is tackled during game three of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

 

Moses Mbye (rugby league): The Noosa product enjoyed a solid season with the Tigers in the NRL. He was named Tigers captain early in 2019 and also made his coveted Origin debut for the Maroons.

Jae Evans (taekwondo): The teenager claimed a gold medal and world title in the 14 to 17-year-old black belt sparring division at the Chan Hun International Taekwondo Federation World Championships in Melbourne.

He also battled his way to a national title, winning the 15-17-year-old national sparring division during the United ITF taekwondo Australian Championships.

 

 

Noosa Heads surf lifesaver Lana Rogers was crowned the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series champion on Sunday. Photo: Nutri-Grain Series
Noosa Heads surf lifesaver Lana Rogers was crowned the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series champion on Sunday. Photo: Nutri-Grain Series

 

Lana Rogers (surf lifesaving): The Noosa Heads Surf Club member won the arduous Coolangatta Gold and maiden Nutri-Grain Ironwoman title.

She also took out the inaugural ironwoman final at the Shannon Eckstein Classic and was Queensland ironwoman champion prior as well.

Kaylee McKeown (swimming): The 18-year-old won an individual silver in 200m backstroke along with a relay silver at the swimming world championships. She made another two finals at the open level event as well.

She won the 200IM at the World Swimming Trials and placed second in the 100m backstroke.

She won gold in the 400IM and 50m backstroke at the Australian Swimming Championships.

McKeown also set four new records at the UniSport Nationals swimming championships (50m, 100m and 200m backstroke plus 200m IM).

 

 

Australian surfer Reef Heazlewood in action during Round 1 WSL Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro .Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Australian surfer Reef Heazlewood in action during Round 1 WSL Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro .Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

 

Reef Heazlewood (surfing): The Moffat Beach teenager made his world tour surfing debut as a wildcard at the Quiksilver Pro. He beat Julian Wilson and finished that event equal ninth. He also competed at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach as an injury replacement where he finished 17th.

Skylah Hamill (Thai boxing): The 13-year-old won bronze in the IFMA Youth World Championships. She was also crowned the new WKBF Australian Junior Straw Weight Junior Champion and has been named as a finalist in the Australian Muay Thai Awards for female teenage fighter of the year.

Aston Tagg (athletics): Won silver and bronze in the U14 javelin and discus at the Australian Track and Field Championships.

Noah Cumberland (AFL): The Maroochydore Roos talent was drafted to AFL heavyweights Richmond during the national draft.

 

 

 

MEDAL HAUL: Liam Schluter.
MEDAL HAUL: Liam Schluter.

 

Liam Schluter (swimming): The Kawana Waters swimmer claimed an S14 multi class world record in the 200m (later beaten) and 400m freestyle events at the national championships.

He also snared a 1500m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay world record, as well as four gold medals, at the INAS Global Games.

He claimed bronze at the world para swimming championships in mixed relay (S14) and made three finals too.

Laura Scherian (netball): The centre/wing attack enjoyed a fruitful year at Sunshine Coast Lightning and as a result was selected and made her Australian Diamonds debut.

 

 

Isabella Nichols of Australia competes in the women's final during the Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach on March 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Isabella Nichols of Australia competes in the women's final during the Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach on March 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

 

Isabella Nichols (surfing): The Coolum Beach product qualified for the 2020 World Surf League Championship Tour after finishing on top of the world Qualifying Series rankings.

Tayla Halliday (surf lifesaving): The Alexandra Headland teenager won surf race gold in the youth section of the International Surf Rescue Challenge.

On home turf, she made her debut in the Nutri-Grain ironwoman series and was crowned the fastest female in the shortcourse Coolangatta gold race.

 

Coast BMX and scooter legend Ryan Williams gets some serious air at his training facility. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Coast BMX and scooter legend Ryan Williams gets some serious air at his training facility. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Ryan Williams (BMX): Caloundra's Williams, or "R. Willy" as he is also known, won two X Games gold medals in BMX Big Air during the X Games Minneapolis and X Games Shanghai competitions.

Eric Hipwood (AFL): The Caloundra Panthers product enjoyed a solid season, booting 35 goals and 29 behinds as Brisbane Lions charged to the semi-finals.

Dannica Starkey (karate): The rising star won gold in U12 Individual Kumite, Team Kumite and team kata at the World Shotokan Karate Federation Championships.

Kareena Lee (open water swimming): The Noosa talent was the region's first Olympic qualifier after a top 10 finish at the open water world championships. She was also the national open water champion.

Lily Postlethwaite (AFL): The Maroochydore Roos athlete was drafted to AFL team Brisbane Lions.

Isabel Dawes (Belle) Dawes (AFL): The Maroochydore Roos player was drafted to AFL team Brisbane Lions.

Taylah Robertson (boxing): The Impact Boxing fighter won her fifth national title at the Elite Australian Boxing Championships and made her debut at the world championships.

 

 

Alyssa Bull at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo:Bence Vekassy
Alyssa Bull at the Canoe Sprint World Cup II in Duisburg, Germany. Photo:Bence Vekassy

Alyssa Bull (kayaking): The Alexandra Headland lifesaver won gold in the K1 1000 at two World Cup events and got a silver in K1 5000. She also won an Australian surf ski title at the national surf life championships, along with three team wins.

Jana Stadelmann (equestrian): PCA (Pony Club Australia) national elementary championship winner, PCAQ elementary dressage title and won the NSW state dressage title.

Mikayo Mundi (wakeboarding): The Towen Mountain teenager won the junior pro division at the World Wakeboard Association World Championships.


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