LEXINGTON, Kentucky (WCMH) — Abby Steiner’s had a few days to reflect on her record-breaking performance in the 200 meter event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last Saturday.
The Coffman grad and University of Kentucky senior blew the field away to win the 200 meter title, and smashed the NCAA record in the process with a time of 21.80.
She says it still feels surreal.
“It was super surreal reflecting back on the journey of everything and how much adversity we’ve had to overcome,” Steiner said.
That adversity includes missing the most important part of the 2020 outdoor season due to the pandemic followed by an Achilles tendinitis injury that sidelines her for virtually the entire 2021 outdoor season. It not only meant sitting out the NCAA championships, but also not having the chance to compete at the in the Olympic Trials.
“When you think things are finally going well and then you get another outdoor season taken away, so it was so special,” she said. “I think that everything happens for a reason and all of those things led me to exactly where I needed to be in that moment.”
Steiner also propelled Kentucky to a first place finish in the 4×400, a third-place finish in the 100 meter and a second place finish in the 4×100.
Her run in the 4×400 was one of the most impressive performances of the entire weekend as well. The Wildcats trailed by as many as 25 meters entering the third leg, ran by Steiner, who not only made up the difference but also gained a five-meter lead going into the final lap.
Steiner will go back to Eugene, Oregon in one week to compete at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships from June 23-26 at the University of Oregon. The meet will also serve as the qualifying event for the 2022 World Athletics Championships, which are also in Oregon from July 15–24.