Class A Girls Most Improved Runner Of The Year: Kate Ahmari

Part of a goal for every athlete should be to improve year over year

2020 was a year of surprises abound as we all know. COVID-19 played a major role in how we all navigated through the cross country season. However, in a snapshot to 2019, we were able to look into then-freshman Kate Ahmari leading her Urbana University HS squad to a 10th place finish in the 1A state championship.

Ahmari placed 28th in her first state meet with a time of 18:13. It is a solid time but far from star status when you stack her times against the competition on a lightening fast Detweiller Park layout.

A new year means different outcomes. In a deeper field because the Shazam Championships featured at-large selections, pitting the absolute top-notch harriers in the same bubble.

Ahmari's ascent began at the Decatur St. Teresa Regional when she placed a very close second to the outstanding Mabry Bruhn of Monticello by three seconds 18:07-18:10. Ahmari's slick closing speed just fell short of the title.

The next weekend at the same location with higher stakes in the St. Teresa Sectional, Ahmari would not strikeout. 

Bruhn in her customary style, she roared out to a sizable lead- leading 17 seconds and 16 seconds through the first two-mile markers. Ahmari would not be deterred. With less than a half-mile to go, Ahmari captured the lead and steamed home for her first major win over Bruhn with a time of 18:29. If nothing else improves from here on out, Ahmari was sure to capture the attention of her future foes.

The final meet of the season was one of significant portions. Ahmari positioned herself right away among the titans in the Shazam championship flight. The ultimate prize was a sixth-place all-Shazam placement in 19:02. The ultimate satisfaction was a huge improvement from the previous season and one that is sure to inspire runners behind her for the future!