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