Abby Steiner Sweeps National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year Award Indoors and Outdoors
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky track & field senior sprinter Abby Steiner has been named the United State Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the second season in a row, also winning the award for this year’s indoor season, as announced on Friday afternoon.
Steiner was announced as the southeast region winner for the award on Thursday alongside Head Coach Lonnie Greene as the Southeast Region Women’s Head Coach of the Year and Associate Head Coach Tim Hall as the Southeast Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
She was also announced as the winner of the Honda Sports Award for Track and Field on Wednesday, making her only the third Wildcat to ever win the award.
Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches following the conclusion of the 2022 NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Performances from both that meet, as well as the rest of the regular season were considered when voting. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.
Steiner is coming off NCAA titles in the 200-meter dash and 4x400m relay last weekend, after winning the indoor 200m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She now has the collegiate record in the 200m (21.80), which is the eighth fastest in American history and 21st fastest in world history. She also ran the third leg of the winning 4x400m relay, taking the Wildcats from fourth to first with a blazing 48.92 split to show off her #SteinerSpeed.
In the collegiate record relay at SECs, Steiner ran a lightning-fast 48.72 seconds as the third leg, which set Alexis Holmes up to maintain the lead and get the collegiate record.
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.