Track & Field
Abby Steiner named National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year by USTFCCCA

Abby Steiner named National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year by USTFCCCA

by Sommer Thomas

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky track & field senior sprinter Abby Steiner was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday afternoon. 

Steiner earned this award through consistent collegiate and school record-breaking performances in the 2021-22 season. 

Most recently, Steiner defended 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 indoor track & field season, Steiner has earned the following accomplishments: 

  • 200m American & collegiate record holder (22.09) 

  • Two-time 200m collegiate record breaker 

  • NCAA and SEC 200m title 

  • NCAA silver and SEC bronze in the 60m 

  • NCAA 4x400m relay bronze 

  • SEC Women’s Runner of the Year 

  • SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year 

  • Two-time SEC Women’s Runner of the Week 

  • USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Runner of the Year 

  • Three-time USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week 

  • Ran in three 4x400m school record relays 

  • Three 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 this 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 tied the then-60m school record Dezerea Bryant set in 2014 at Clemson, with the top time of the 60m semifinals (7.12). It was also the fastest women’s 60m time of the day, including prelims, semifinals and finals. 

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. 

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