Track & Field
Abby Steiner Wins SEC Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Abby Steiner Wins SEC Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year

OXFORD, Miss. — Kentucky women’s track and field senior sprinter Abby Steiner has been named the Southeastern Conference Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year by a vote of the league head coaches. 

Steiner also won the award for the indoor track & field season. 

This award is given to the student-athlete who has found the most success both in the classroom and on the track in the outdoor season. 

Steiner earned this award through excellence in the classroom and a historic season on the track, both indoors and outdoors, for Kentucky, including running the fifth fastest 100m in collegiate history, the third fastest 200m in collegiate history and five new school records. 

She also recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. 

Other honors Steiner has earned this season include SEC Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year, USTFCCCA National Women’s Athlete of the Year, SEC Women’s Runner of the Week (four times), USTFCCCA Women’s Athlete of the Week (five times) and six Bowerman Watchlist appearances. 

Steiner’s Senior Season 

Steiner is on track to have one of the greatest collegiate track seasons of all time. 

Steiner ran the third fastest wind-legal time in collegiate history in the 200m at 22.05 seconds at the Kentucky Invitational, which was also a facility and school record. It was Steiner’s sixth school record with her name attached to it until she ran in the new school record 4x400m relay the next day, putting her school record total at seven. 

She ran the third leg of the 4x400m that finished with the third fastest time in the NCAA this season at 3:25.79 and the second leg in the 4x100m (42.91). 

Steiner ran a school record of 10.92 seconds in the 100m at the Joe May Invitational and the second fastest 200m (22.38) in UKTF history. Her 200m was into a 5.6 m/s headwind, but Steiner was still able to secure the fastest time in the NCAA this season, an outdoor personal best, and one of the fastest 200m runs in collegiate history into such strong gusts. 

She is now the fifth fastest 100m runner in collegiate history and the 2022 NCAA leader among wind-legal times. 

Her 200m time was also the fastest in collegiate history with a headwind over 1.7 m/s, according to the USTFCCCA. 

She ran her first 100m in three years at the Florida Relays and debuted at 11.10, which was a personal best by nearly half a second and the second all-time for UK. 

Steiner ended the indoor season by defending her NCAA title in the 200-meter dash with a 22.16-second run in 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 relay 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 record holder (22.09) 

  • Two collegiate records (indoor 200m, indoor 300m) 

  • NCAA and SEC indoor 200m title 

  • NCAA silver and SEC bronze in the indoor 60m 

  • NCAA indoor 4x400m relay bronze 

  • USTFCCCA Women’s Athlete of the Year (indoor season) 

  • SEC Women’s Runner of the Year (indoor season) 

  • SEC Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year 

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

  • USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Runner of the Year (indoor season) 

  • Five-time USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week 

  • Ran in three 4x400m school record relays 

  • Six Bowerman Watchlist appearances 

  • Seven-time school record-holder 

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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