Ashton excelling in three sports

Christina Ashton excels in three sports, all of which involve jumping. Photo by Peter McInotsh.
Christina Ashton excels in three sports, all of which involve jumping. Photo by Peter McInotsh.
Christina Ashton is competitive and knows how to succeed at the top level in three different sports.

''It's exciting. I like testing myself against other people,'' she said.

In athletics, Ashton (15) won the New Zealand secondary school junior girls 80m hurdles title last December.

She won the Mihi Aston trophy for artistic excellence at the New Zealand aerobics championships in Wellington in September and came second in the junior women's grade.

Ashton has also won several eventing events at A&P and other one-day shows around the South Island.

She was introduced to the winning habit by her mother, Robyn Ashton (nee Palmer), and her coach, Megan Gibbons (nee Merrilees), who both represented New Zealand in athletics. She attends Queen's High School, where they were also sporting stars.

Her coach has been impressed by her temperament and potential in the hurdles.

''Christina has natural talent and lifts her game for big meets,'' Gibbons said.

''She gets her lead leg down fast and keeps up her speed between the hurdles. The big occasion does not faze her.''

Ashton's next big step in athletics comes in the junior women's 100m hurdles at the New Zealand club championships in Auckland next month.

But it will not be easy because she will be competing against girls three years older than she is.

She has only been competing in aerobics for the past three years and is targeting a gold medal at the New Zealand championships in Invercargill in September.

Ashton lives on the family sheep farm at Taieri Mouth and trains on the beach with her mother for athletics and eventing.

She will also be competing in eventing events around Otago on her horse, Oakley. She was put on a horse as a baby and is a natural horsewoman. She was given her first pony, Foggy, when she was 5 and won her first eventing event on Silver aged of 10.

Ashton is a master of juggling her time to fit in all her sports.

''I only do aerobics in the winter and don't ride my horses then,'' she said.

Which sport does she like best?

''I enjoy all three.''


Name: Christina Ashton (15).
School: Queen's High School.
Sports: Athletics, eventing, aerobics.
Achievements: Athletics, New Zealand secondary schools junior girls 80m hurdles champion (2012); aerobics, New Zealand secondary schools open novice, second (2011), junior open, second (2012); eventing, winner of local events.