Track & Field

Abby Steiner Wins Fan Vote & USTFCCCA Membership Vote for The Bowerman

by Sommer Thomas

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Abby Steiner won the fan vote for The Bowerman as well as the vote amongst the membership of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the organization announced last week.

Steiner was followed by fellow finalists Florida’s Anna Hall in second and California’s Camryn Rodgers in third.

Over 30,000 votes were cast per day over a 48-hour period for the fan vote, with Steiner receiving 60.8% of the total, the third-largest margin of victory in the history of The Bowerman Fan Vote. 

THE BOWERMAN WINNER SELECTION PROCESS 

The Bowerman Voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and must rank them by first, second and third choice. First-place votes will receive three points, second place will notch two, and third will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner. 

The Bowerman Voters consist of: 

  • Online voting by the public constitutes one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes) 
  • Online voting by USTFCCCA members constitutes one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)  
  • The Bowerman Advisory Board 
  • Select media personnel, statisticians, and collegiate administrators 
  • Past winners of The Bowerman 

Steiner, Hall and Rodgers will learn their fate for The Bowerman on Thursday, December 15, during the annual USTFCCCA Convention, which will be held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center outside of Denver, Colorado. One of those three student-athletes will take home collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor that night following The Bowerman Presentation.

Steiner was named a finalist for The Bowerman, the most prestigious award in collegiate track and field, on June 27, shortly after she won the U.S. 200-meter title at the USATF Outdoor Championships with a personal best time of 21.77. It was an all-dates collegiate best and made her the sixth-fastest American all-time and 17th fastest in world history. Performances outside the collegiate season are not considered when voting for The Bowerman.

She will compete in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon starting on July 18 with the 200m prelims.

Earlier in June, Steiner earned NCAA titles in the 200-meter dash and 4x400m relay, after winning the indoor 200m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She now has the collegiate record in the outdoor 200m (21.80) that she achieved at NCAAs, 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.

She has appeared on lists for The Bowerman 14 times in her career after appearing on the preseason watch list in January, eight watch list updates since then, a semifinalist and finalist appearance, and four during the 2020-21 season.

Steiner’s The 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 13-time All-American from Ohio is the seventh UK women’s athlete to make the watchlist, sixth to become a semifinalist and third to become a finalist since the award began in 2009. She is the first since semifinalists Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Olivia Gruver and finalist Sydney McLaughlin were on the watch list together in 2018. Olympic silver medalists Kendra Harrison and Dezerea Bryant were semifinalists together in 2015, with Harrison becoming a finalist.

The Bowerman was first awarded in 2009 and official watch lists began in 2010.

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:  

  • U.S. 200m Champion 
  • 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 
  • Eight Bowerman Watchlist appearances, semifinalist, finalist 

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.

Follow Kentucky Track and Field and Cross Country on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at UKathletics.com. 

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