Abby Steiner storms to 200m win at US Championships

There’s no place like Hayward Field for US athletes, who completed their national championships on Sunday (26) in what was essentially a trial run for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 next month.

Abby Steiner had the race of her life in the women’s 200m, while 400m hurdler Rai Benjamin and shot putter Chase Ealey moved atop the world lists on another hot day at the US Championships in Eugene.

For Steiner, Hayward Field is definitely in her comfort zone. She lowered her PB to 21.77 while earning her first national crown just 15 days after shattering the collegiate record and taking the world lead with a 21.80 amid cooler temperatures at the NCAA Championships. The University of Kentucky sprinter equalled that time in the semifinals at the US Championships.

“The main focus was just to come away with a win, make the team,” said Steiner, whose performance was another world lead until Shericka Jackson ran 21.55 at the Jamaican Championships. “It was nice having had NCAAs at this track; it was kind of a familiar environment so I knew if I replicated my race that I had at NCAAs with nicer weather, we were going to walk away with a PB.”

Steiner will return to Eugene along with the other US athletes who qualified for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in less than three weeks, no doubt to enjoy their home field advantage. The World Championships are taking place on US soil for the first time.  

While Steiner wasn’t as dominant in the first 50 metres, she grabbed the lead with 40 meters to go, defeating Tamara Clark, who ran a PB of 21.92. Olympian Jenna Prandini, who came off the curve in first place, ran a season's best of 22.01 on her college alma mater’s track.

Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas placed eighth in 22.47 after battling a hamstring injury the past two weeks, while Sha’Carri Richardson did not advance to the final. 

Steiner was smiling with her arms outstretched as she crossed the finish line into a slight headwind.

Steiner said the win means “Everything.”

“Coming off the collegiate season, a lot of people want to put limitations on you and say you’re going to be burnt out,” she said. 

Steiner definitely proved she still has momentum.

posted Monday June 27th
by World Athletics