Quaker Valley’s Ashburn nabs surprise biathlon win

By: HSSN Staff
Saturday, December 23, 2017 | 11:00 PM


Only weeks after taking up rowing, Quaker Valley sophomore Hannah Ashburn scored a big win.

Ashburn took first place in the novice girls division at the Central Catholic Biathlon on Dec. 9 at the Three Rivers Rowing boathouse on Washington's Landing.

Ashburn did a 5K ergometer piece in 23 minutes, 44 seconds and a 10K run in 52:24. Her total time of 1:16:07 was a little more than a minute ahead of the runner-up (1:17.12).

She was one of 25 competitors.

Ashburn, a former swimmer, joined the Three Rivers Junior Rowing team in mid-November.

“Since I haven't been rowing for nearly as long as any of the other girls on the novice team, I was anxious to get it over with,” Ashburn said. “While I was running the 10K, I was so surprised I was in front of the other girls.”

Ashburn said her greatest fear was getting lost or taking a wrong turn on the trail.

“Winning the biathlon was a really happy moment for me,” she said. “I was proud of what I had accomplished and was glad to see the smiles — and a few confused looks — on my coaches' faces.”

Three Rivers Junior Rowing coach Matt Grau said he was a little surprised Ashburn won. Ashburn learned about the Three Rivers Junior Rowing team from classmates who have been members.

“I've been a swimmer ever since I was little,” Ashburn said. “This year I didn't feel the same urge to continue. I realized I was burning out after all those years, so I decided to change things up.”

Ashburn, who is 5-foot-3, looks forward to getting faster and stronger.

“I'm lucky to have amazing teammates (who) push me to do exactly that,” she said.

Grau believes Ashburn has a bright future.

“We have an exceptional group of novice girls, and Hannah will be playing a huge role in their success,” he said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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