A graduate of McQueen High School in Reno, Ali McKnight earned All-America honors in the heptathlon at the 1995 NCAA Championships. Her second-place finish in the event marked the highest a female Wolf Pack track and field competitor had ever placed in the national competition. She competed in both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Trials in the heptathlon. A two-rime Big West Conference Athlete of the Year in 1994 and 1995, McKnight captured back-to-back conference titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 100 meter hurdles. In 1995, she led Nevada to a runner-up finish to Utah State at the conference meet, which was the highest the Wolf Pack had finished in the Big West Championships. McKnight went on to post the second-fastest 200-meter time in the history of the heptathlon and later earned a spot on the 2000 U.S. Women’s World Cup Bobsled team.