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Abby Steiner crushes NCAA 200m record, runs epic 4x400m relay leg

Abby Steiner

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 11: Abby Steiner of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after winning the womens 200 meter final during the Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Nelson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

NCAA Photos via Getty Images

EUGENE, Ore. — Kentucky junior Abby Steiner set a college record in the 200m and the fastest time in the world this year at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on a soggy Saturday at Hayward Field.

Steiner was focused until the finish, when she raised her arms and smiled broadly. Her time of 21.80 seconds bested LSU sophomore Favour Ofili’s NCAA record of 21.96 set this year. Ofili was second behind Steiner.

“We just took what’s happened this whole season as learning experiences. Every race is an opportunity to learn from it, and fix certain parts of my 200. So I think it all came together at the right moment,” said Steiner, who overtook Olympic silver medalist Christine Mboma (21.87) as the 2022 world leader.

About 45 minutes after the 200m final, Steiner ran a 48.92 split on her 4x400m leg, going from fourth to first as Kentucky went on to win the relay.

Steiner missed last year’s Olympic Trials, reportedly due to an Achilles injury, but now goes into the USATF Outdoor Championships in two weeks favored to make the three-woman 200m team for the world championships in July. Both meets are also in Eugene.

Julien Alfred of Texas won the 100m, finishing in 11.014 seconds and just narrowly holding off Oregon’s Kemba Nelson in 11.020. Alfred set the college record in the indoor 60m earlier this year. Steiner was third in 11.08.

Florida won the women’s team title with 54 points, a day after the Gators claimed the men’s championship. Florida’s women also won the NCAA indoor team title.

Gators sophomore Talitha Diggs, daughter of four-time Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs, won the 400m in a personal best 49.99.

BYU’s Kristie Schoffield also ran a personal-best 2:01.09 in the 800m, raising her hands to her mouth in surprise when she saw her time. She postponed a television interview to go hug her mother in the stands.

Ole Miss sophomore Sintayehu Vissa won the 1500m in 4:09.42. BYU senior Courtney Wayment built a big lead and won the steeplechase in 9:16 flat, a new college and meet record.

“The plan was to rely on my fitness and then all the things that I have done to get to this moment.” said Wayment, who shaved eight seconds off the college record. “If anyone is going to come with me, then I’ll just put my foot on the gas a little bit more.”

LSU’s Alia Armstrong was the first to hit the first hurdle and went on to win the 100m hurdles in 12.57, holding off a late surge from USC’s Jasmine Jones. Britton Wilson of Arkansas won the 400m hurdles in 53.86.

North Carolina State’s Katelyn Tuohy defended her title in the 5000m, winning in 15:18.39.

“My last 100 meters was so hard, I was practically crawling it in,” Tuohy said. “But I was fortunate enough to have a big enough gap before then so I was able to hold on.”

Texas won the 4x100m relay in 42.42.

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