Her mother taught her to swim when she was eighteen months old and her competitive career began when she was four. At the Pine Orchard Club, Ali dominated the summer league meets as she passed through each age group. In the winters she swam for the Branford StingRays and also at the Omni Swim Club in New Haven. Ali competed for both clubs on the national level.
By the time she entered Branford H.S. in 1988, Ali was already one of the top swimmers in Connecticut. In her freshmen year she led the Branford team to the Class M State Championship as she won both her individual events and her relay event. This would be the start of four years of being named to the All-State team. Branford won the state championship again in her junior year and in her four years never finished lower than second. By her junior and senior year she became Branford’s first All-American swimmer. She was named the most valuable swimmer in Class M, won the State Open Championship in the butterfly event and set Branford school records in the 50 free, 100 Butterfly and was part of every Branford relay record. Ali earned the reputation as a true competitor with a mental toughness that seemed to come natural to her. In her senior year, in addition to be being named captain by her peers, she was joined by Kierstin Newell, Jennifer Brooks and Sally Murphy as this foursome dominated the State Open Championships in 1991 outscoring every high school team in the state in swimming including powerhouses like Greenwich and Cheshire.
After graduating from Branford in 1992, Ali accepted a scholarship to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where as a freshman she not only qualified for the NCAA division two championships but earned all American Honors for two events and joined FAU’s Hall of Fame. Homesick for family and Branford, she returned home after her freshman year to pursue a business degree.
For seventeen years Ali worked as a specialized service representative for AT&T but left last year to join her father’s insurance agency in Branford. Throughout her life and swimming career Ali has had the strong support of her mother, Sue, her dad, Peter, and her sister, Stephanie.
Ali and her husband Jose have three children. Christian is a junior at Notre Dame H.S. where he is the quarterback on the football team and also is a member of the hockey and golf teams. Mikaila is in the eighth grade at Walsh where she excels as a student and lacrosse player. Joseph is in first grade at Sliney and already interested in football.