Seriously, what hasn’t Abby Steiner done this season?
The Kentucky track and field senior has put together one of the greatest all-time stretches by a Wildcat student-athlete. Steiner was named the Honda Sport Award track and field winner earlier in the week (only the third to do so in program history) before earning recognition as the southeast region’s top T&F athlete a day later. She recently set the collegiate record in the 200m at the NCAA Championships with a time of 21.80 seconds.
But Steiner isn’t even close to done hauling in the hardware. The former soccer player turned track superstar was named the National Women’s Track of the Year in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. The news was announced on Friday afternoon by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. This is the second consecutive season she’s won the award.
Here is what the USTFCCCA had to say about Steiner’s season:
“Abby Steiner was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2022 NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field season. Steiner, who hails from Dublin, Ohio, left her name all over the record book this season. No bigger moment stood out more than when Steiner destroyed the collegiate record in the 200 meters – and won the event title – at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships with her 21.80 mark. That was part of a meet where Steiner also finished third in the 100 and brought Kentucky from fourth place to first place in the 4×400 relay with a 48.92 split (The Wildcats never relinquished the lead in the relay). Steiner was also a member of the 4×400 relay team that broke the collegiate record at the SEC Outdoor Championships. All told, Steiner notched four all-time top-10 performances in the 200 meters (No. 1, No. 3, Nos. 8-9) and became the No. 7 performer in collegiate history in the 100.”
Below is more information on Steiner’s historic career, courtesy of UK Athletics.
Steiner’s Senior Season & Career
Steiner earned this honor through consistent collegiate and school record-breaking performances in the 2021-22 season.
The senior from Dublin, Ohio is now a 15-time All-American featuring 11 first-team honors and a four-time SEC champion.
Most recently, Steiner earned her third and fourth NCAA titles in the 200m and 4x400m relay, alongside 100m bronze and 4x100m silver to score 34 of UK’s 50 points.
Her collegiate record-breaking win in the 200m (21.80) was her first outdoor national title. She ran a 48.92 leg on the 4x400m relay at NCAAs for her second gold of the meet. She also earned bronze in the 100m (11.08) after setting a personal best (10.90) and new school record in the semifinals.
At SEC Championships, Steiner ran in the collegiate record 4x400m relay alongside Karimah Davis, Dajour Miles and Holmes (3:21.93), running a 48.72 split. She also earned silver in both the 100m and 200m.
Shortly before SEC Championships, Steiner ran the then-third fastest outdoor 200m in collegiate history and second fastest in the NCAA during the 2022 season with a wind-legal 22.05 run at the Kentucky Invitational. It was also a school record, meaning Steiner’s name is now tied to seven different program records.
She also played a part in the then-third fastest 4x400m of the collegiate season, with the group of Steiner, Holmes, Davis and Miles, clocking 3:25.79 for a school record in front of Big Blue Nation on UKTF’s Senior Day.
In April, aside from her 22.05 run in the 200m at home, Steiner made history in the 100m in early April at the Joe May Invitational, running the then-fifth fastest 100m in collegiate history at 10.92 seconds, which is a school record she broke at NCAAs.
She also ran the fastest 200m in collegiate history with a headwind over 1.7 m/s when she ran 22.38 into a 5.6 m/s headwind at LSU. If wind was accounted for, it would have converted to 21.67.
To top off an excellent start to the outdoor season, Steiner ran the second leg in the current second-ranked 4x100m relay in the NCAA this season, helping the team to a time of 42.46.
Steiner closed her indoor season by defending her NCAA title in the 200-meter dash with a 22.16-second run Birmingham, Alabama. It was her second fastest 200m run of her career and second fastest in American history behind her own American-record mark.
It was also the fastest women’s 200m in NCAA Championships meet history and broke the Birmingham CrossPlex facility record.
Steiner earned silver in the 60m with a school-record time of 7.10 at NCAA Indoor Championships, which was the highest Steiner has ever placed in the event on the NCAA stage, in addition to leading the 4x400m to a bronze medal.
Steiner cemented her name in American track & field history on February 26 when she ran the fastest American indoor 200m ever and second fastest in world history at 22.09 seconds to earn the SEC gold. This was her third year in a row winning the 200m SEC gold medal and third time breaking the collegiate record.
She also broke the SEC Championships record, school record, meet record and Gilliam Indoor Stadium record at Texas A&M.
The previous fastest indoor 200m in American history was Gwen Torrence’s 22.33 at the USA Championship in 1996.
The national champion is now .22 away from Jamaican Merlene Ottey’s 21.87 indoor world record.
In the 2021-22 track & field season, Steiner has earned the following accomplishments:
- 200m American & collegiate indoor record holder (22.09)
- 200m outdoor collegiate record holder (21.80)
- Member of collegiate record outdoor 4x400m relay (3:21.93)
- NCAA outdoor 200m and 4x400m titles
- NCAA and SEC 200m title (indoors)
- NCAA silver and SEC bronze in the 60m
- NCAA bronze in 100m (11.08)
- NCAA 4x400m relay bronze (indoors)
- Seventh fastest 100m runner in collegiate history
- SEC Indoor T&F Women’s Runner of the Year
- SEC Indoor & Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year
- USTFCCCA Women’s Track Athlete of the Year (indoor and outdoor)
- USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Indoor & Outdoor Runner of the Year
- Four-time SEC Women’s Runner of the Week
- Five-time USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week
- Seven-time school record holder (60m, 100m, indoor 200m, outdoor 200m, 300m, indoor 4x400m, outdoor 4x400m)
- Honda Sports Award Winner for Track and Field
- Seven Bowerman Watchlist appearances
In addition to her 200m gold at SECs, Steiner also won bronze in the 60m with a time of 7.19 and was a member of the bronze medal-winning 4x400m relay (3:25.89) that ran under the previous collegiate record.
At Clemson in February, Steiner broke the 200m collegiate record for the second time in her career and first time in the 2021-22 season when she ran 22.37 for an event win, gaining sole possession of the record she used to share with Olympian Gabby Thomas.
Steiner broke the collegiate record in the 200m for the first time at NCAA Championships in 2021 when she tied Thomas’s then-collegiate record of 22.38 for her first national title.