Abby Steiner Named Honda Award Finalist, Remains on Bowerman Watchlist
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky track & field senior sprinter Abby Steiner has been named a finalist for the Honda Sport Award for track & field the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) announced on Monday.
Steiner is coming off NCAA titles in the 200-meter dash and 4x400m relay. She now has the collegiate record in the 200m and as part of the 4x400m relay, having also run a sub-49-second split in the NCAA winning relay.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 46 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2022 Honda Cup which will be presented during the live telecast of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Presented by Honda on CBS Sports Network on June 27, at 9 p.m. ET.
The track & field finalists were selected by a panel of coaches and experts from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Honda Sport award winner for track & field will be announced later this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Steiner is joined by Florida’s Anna Hall and Jasmine Moore and California’s Camryn Rodgers as finalists.
Steiner also remains on The Bowerman Award Watch List update seven that was announced on June 7 by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The USTFCCCA announced a 10-person watch list for The Bowerman, which takes into consideration both the indoor and outdoor seasons. This year’s semifinalists will be announced on June 20 and finalists on June 27.
This is Steiner’s 12th appearance on The Bowerman watch list in her career after appearing on the preseason watch list in January, seven watch list updates since then and four during the 2020-21 season.
Since Steiner’s last watch list appearance on May 18, she has won two NCAA titles in the 200m and 4x400m and broke two collegiate records in those same events: 21.80 at NCAAs in the 200m and 3:21.93 in the 4x400m at SECs.
In the collegiate record relay at SECs, Steiner ran a blazing 48.72 seconds as the third leg, which set Alexis Holmes up to maintain the lead and get the collegiate record. At NCAAs, Steiner ran another sub-49 second leg for the national title (48.92).
Steiner’s Bowerman watch list debut was on March 3, 2021, five days after breaking the then-Southeastern Conference record in the women’s indoor 200 meters with a blazing 22.41 preliminary run.
Steiner remained on the watch list through her NCAA Indoor Championship title and collegiate record-performance in the 200m (22.38) in March 2021. However, she saw limited competition during the outdoor season and was taken off the list in April 2021.
The All-American from Ohio is the seventh UK women’s athlete to make the watch list since the award began in 2009 and the first since semifinalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and finalist Sydney McLaughlin were on the watch list together in 2018.
The Bowerman was first awarded in 2009 and official watch lists began in 2010.
Steiner’s Senior Season
Steiner earned a spot on this year’s watch list through consistent collegiate and school record-breaking performances in the 2021-22 season.
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 also eighth fastest in American history and 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 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 third fastest outdoor 200m in collegiate history and second fastest in the NCAA this 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 fifth fastest 100m in collegiate history at 10.82 seconds, which is a school record. It is also the current wind-legal collegiate lead for 2022 and second fastest in the world this season.
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 convert 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 Southeast Region Women’s Indoor 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)
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 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 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.