FOR 12 months Ashleigh Jones had her eyes set on qualifying for national-level athletics.

It came down to about 20 seconds at the Athletics North Queensland titles this month, where Jones was able to achieve her goal.

She is now destined to run against the best in Australia in March at the national titles.

Jones qualified for the 200m, on top of winning three gold medals and a silver medal at the championships in Townsville.

"It was at the start of the year I had this in mind but I didn't think I would get there," Jones said of making the qualifying time.

"I wanted to try and do it, (but) there is now heaps of work to do before I go."

Gladstone 200m runner Ashleigh Jones.
Gladstone 200m runner Ashleigh Jones. Mike Richards

She wants to see if a second and possibly third event can be added to her Australian titles schedule before March.

Jones didn't expect to qualify for the 200m sprint; she thought she was a better chance in the 400m.

"(But) the hard work has paid off," the 20-year-old said.

Six days a week training, and regular consultation with her coach in Brisbane has delivered the results she needed.

Now heading to the biggest event she has ever attended, Jones will put her skills on show in front of her coach - a moment she will be very proud of.

"It is a privilege going to somewhere like that," she said.

She will compete in the under-23 segment of the competition from March 26-29.

The qualifying time caps off a hugely successful year for Jones, who also competed at the Oceania Athletics Championships in June.



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