Kentucky's Abby Steiner wins national title for US track, heads to world championships

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Kentucky sprinter Abby Steiner competes in the Kentucky Invitational on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Lexington, Ky. Steiner posted the third-fastest time in collegiate history in the women's 200-meter during the meet.
Kentucky sprinter Abby Steiner competes in the Kentucky Invitational on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Lexington, Ky. Steiner posted the third-fastest time in collegiate history in the women's 200-meter during the meet.

EUGENE, Ore. — Two weeks after setting a collegiate record at the NCAA championships, 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.

Abby Steiner: Kentucky's Abby Steiner flies to top 200-meter time in US track championships first round

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.”

Sha’Carri Richardson, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 but did not compete after testing positive for marijuana, finished fifth in her semifinal (22.47) and didn’t advance to the final.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: US Track and Field: Kentucky's Abby Steiner wins first national title