EUGENE, Oregon – 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 heading to the world championships this summer.
Steiner wore her uniform from the University of Kentucky and won the 200 final in 21.77 seconds, as she faced a slight headwind at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Her time is the world’s fastest this year, 0.03 seconds faster than her 21.80, breaking the collegiate record at the June 11 NCAA meeting at Hayward Field. She also ran 21.80 in Sunday’s semifinal.
In the final, Steiner chased Tamara Clark and Jenna Prandini in the last 50 meters, with Clark finishing second in a personal best of 21.92. Prandini finished third in 22.01.
Moments after her win, Steiner said she dug in for the last half of the race after Clark took the lead. “I think it’s just important to maintain the form on the backstretch and just dig deep to get to that finish line,” Steiner said.
Just a few weeks after her NCAA record, Steiner ran another great race at Hayward Field.
Asked about what her 200 national title meant, Steiner said: “Everything, you know, when you come out of a collegiate season, a lot of people want to put restrictions on you. Say you get a burnout. But me and my coaches trust the process. and I couldn’t be more excited.”
The World Championships, scheduled for July 15-24, will take place at the same location at the University of Oregon.
Steiner was kept out of the 2021 Achilles tendonitis championships which also prevented her from qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
At Coffman, Steiner won four consecutive outdoor state titles in the 200 and state titles in each of her last three preparatory seasons in the 100 with a time of 11.08.
She ran 22.09 seconds in the 200 meters at the Southeastern Conference on Feb. 26 to set the U.S. indoor record. Then, on March 12 in Birmingham, Alabama, she ran 22.16 to win her second straight NCAA title.
In high school, her athletic prowess also translated into success in football, as Steiner helped Coffman to a second-place finish in Division I in 2014, then named District Player of the Year as a sophomore.
She tore her right ACL while attending a soccer camp in July 2016 and missed her junior season in that sport before choosing to play at the club level as a senior in 2017.
Steiner originally began visiting Kentucky on a two-lane and soccer trade show, playing in 19 games for the women’s soccer program in 2018, but has since focused solely on the track.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Abby Steiner wins 200m run at US Athletics Championships