3A Girls Newcomer Of The Year: Ali Ince

2020 unexpectedly produced such a great class of talented Harriettes

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There are very few distance runners who could handle the pressure that Normal Community HS freshman Allison Ince had to endure... it seems like every year there is a new female star on the block. In Ali's case, she ticketed for success prior to high school after setting grammar school track records- clocking a very good 4:58.62 (1600m). Ince was hailed as the best middle-schooler cross country runner in the state.

Ince opened her high school career with a big win over several top girls in the Normal area. The first big test of the season was a bout against 1A superstar Anna Perry of Eureka in a home quad meet. In that one, Ince defeated Perry pretty solidly 17:48-18:05.

Ince finished a remarkable regular season with just one loss (by less than a second to Perry at Metamora) but won regional and sectional titles. Included in the feast was a freshmen best 16:58 three-miler. 

Believe it or not, Ince saved her best for The Shazam Championships. This meet was LOADED with the best girls in the state as it served as the de facto championship. Oak Park-River Forest junior Josephine Welin set a hard pace that quickly and completely separated her from the talented field. Ince led the lead chase pack through the first half of the race. Her bravery may have cost her a runner-up finish as she would finish an aggregate seventh in 18:22 (5k). Moreover, Ince's efforts proved that she is here is to stay in future years.