EUGENE, Ore. — Two weeks after setting a collegiate record at the NCAA championships, Dublin Coffman grad Abby Steiner won her first national title in the women’s 200 meters in Eugene, Oregon, and is headed to this summer’s world championships.
Wearing her University of Kentucky uniform, Steiner won the 200 final in 21.77 seconds running into a slight headwind at the USA Track & Field outdoor championships. Her time is the fastest in the world this year, .03 seconds faster than her 21.80, which broke the collegiate record at the NCAA meet on June 11 at Hayward Field. She also ran 21.80 in Sunday’s semifinals.
In the final, Steiner chased down Tamara Clark and Jenna Prandini in the final 50 meters with Clark finishing second in a personal-best 21.92. Prandini finished third in 22.01.
Moments after her victory, Steiner said she dug in for the last half of the race after Clark took the lead. “I think it’s just, the important thing is just maintaining form on the backstretch, and just digging deep to get to that finish line,” Steiner said.
Just a few weeks after her NCAA record, Steiner ran another superb race at Hayward Field.
Asked about what her 200 national title meant, Steiner said, “Everything, ya know coming off a collegiate season, a lot of people want to put limitations on you. Say you’re going to get burned out. But me and my coaches trust the process and I couldn’t be more excited.”
The world championships, set for July 15-24, are scheduled to take place at the same venue at the University of Oregon.
Steiner was held from the 2021 championships for Achilles tendinitis that also kept her from participating in qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
At Coffman, Steiner won four consecutive state outdoor titles in the 200 and state titles in each of her final three prep seasons in the 100 with a time of 11.08.
At the Southeastern Conference meet Feb. 26, she ran 22.09 seconds in the 200 meters to set the American indoor record. Then on March 12 in Birmingham, Alabama, she ran 22.16 to win her second consecutive NCAA title.
In high school, her athleticism also translated into success in soccer, as Steiner helped Coffman to a Division I state runner-up finish in 2014 and then was district Player of the Year as a sophomore.
She tore her right ACL while participating in a soccer camp in July 2016 and missed her junior season in that sport before electing to play at the club level as a senior in 2017.
Steiner originally began attending Kentucky on a dual track and soccer scholarship and played in 19 games for the women’s soccer program in 2018 but has focused solely on track since.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Abby Steiner wins 200-meter run at USA track and field championships