Kentucky Wildcats track & field senior sprinter Abby Steiner has won the Honda Sport Award for track & field, it was announced Thursday.
“It’s a great honor to be selected as the track and field recipient of this award and to be nominated among so many other talented and strong women. A special thank you to my coaches, my parents, my teammates, and all the other people I have met along the way to get me to this point. It has been an honor to run track at Kentucky and be able to represent the Wildcats. Go Cats and thank you,” Steiner said in a press release.
Steiner is coming off NCAA titles in the 200-meter dash and 4x400m relay last weekend, after winning the indoor 200m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She now has the collegiate record in the 200m (21.80), which is the eighth-fastest in American history and 21st-fastest in world history. She also ran the third leg of the winning 4x400m relay, taking the Wildcats from fourth to first with a blazing 48.92 split.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually for the past 46 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”.
The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2022 Honda Cup which will be presented during the live telecast of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Presented by Honda on CBS Sports Network on June 27th at 9 pm ET.
“We are so proud of Abby, who is so deserving of this honor bestowed by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards,” Kentucky Track and Field Head Coach Lonnie Greene said in a press release. “Abby exemplifies ‘The best of the best in college athletics’ because of her commitment to greatness, not just as a world-class athlete, but also as a top-class person and leader. Abby is a record breaker, a role model and a leader. For her to be the first Kentucky Wildcat to win this prestigious award for the sport of track and field is even more of a testament to what a special student-athlete and person she is. Kudos to Abby and her amazing family, as well as Coach Tim Hall and our staff here.”
“The Honda Sport Award is one of the most prestigious honors in college athletics so we are unbelievably proud of Abby Steiner for earning this accolade,” UK AD Mitch Barnhart said in a press release. “Congratulations go out to Abby, her family, coaches and those who support her. Thank you to the CWSA and the hundreds of voters who selected Abby for this honor. She is a tremendous competitor, hard-worker and role model. We are lucky to be able to work with Abby. She has an even brighter future, and we look forward to seeing what she has in store.”
Steiner is the third Kentucky student-athlete to win the award for most outstanding player in a sport (Madison Lilley, Volleyball, 2021, and Jenny Hansen, Gymnastics, 1994, 1995, 1996), and UK’s fourth Honda Award winner (Arin Gilliland, 2014, Inspiration Award).
Steiner’s Senior Season & Career
- Steiner earned the Honda Award through consistent collegiate and school record-breaking performances in the 2021-22 season.
- The senior from Dublin, Ohio is now a 15-time All-American featuring 11 first-team honors and a four-time SEC champion.
- Most recently, Steiner earned her third and fourth NCAA titles in the 200m and 4x400m relay, alongside 100m bronze and 4x100m silver to score 34 of UK’s 50 points.
- Her collegiate record-breaking win in the 200m (21.80) was her first outdoor national title. She ran a 48.92 leg on the 4x400m relay at NCAAs for her second gold of the meet. She also earned bronze in the 100m (11.08) after setting a personal best (10.90) and new school record in the semifinals.
- At SEC Championships, Steiner ran in the collegiate record 4x400m relay alongside Karimah Davis, Dajour Miles and Holmes (3:21.93), running a 48.72 split. She also earned silver in both the 100m and 200m.
- Shortly before SEC Championships, Steiner ran the then-third fastest outdoor 200m in collegiate history and second fastest in the NCAA during the 2022 season with a wind-legal 22.05 run at the Kentucky Invitational. It was also a school record, meaning Steiner’s name is now tied to seven different program records.
- She also played a part in the then-third fastest 4x400m of the collegiate season, with the group of Steiner, Holmes, Davis and Miles, clocking 3:25.79 for a school record in front of Big Blue Nation on UKTF’s Senior Day.
- In April, aside from her 22.05 run in the 200m at home, Steiner made history in the 100m in early April at the Joe May Invitational, running the then-fifth fastest 100m in collegiate history at 10.92 seconds, which is a school record she broke at NCAAs.
- She also ran the fastest 200m in collegiate history with a headwind over 1.7 m/s when she ran 22.38 into a 5.6 m/s headwind at LSU. If wind was accounted for, it would have converted to 21.67.
- To top off an excellent start to the outdoor season, Steiner ran the second leg in the current second-ranked 4x100m relay in the NCAA this season, helping the team to a time of 42.46.
- Steiner closed her indoor season by defending her NCAA title in the 200-meter dash with a 22.16-second run Birmingham, Alabama. It was her second fastest 200m run of her career and second fastest in American history behind her own American-record mark.
- It was also the fastest women’s 200m in NCAA Championships meet history and broke the Birmingham CrossPlex facility record.
- Steiner earned silver in the 60m with a school-record time of 7.10 at NCAA Indoor Championships, which was the highest Steiner has ever placed in the event on the NCAA stage, in addition to leading the 4x400m to a bronze medal.
- Steiner cemented her name in American track & field history on February 26 when she ran the fastest American indoor 200m ever and second fastest in world history at 22.09 seconds to earn the SEC gold. This was her third year in a row winning the 200m SEC gold medal and third time breaking the collegiate record.
- She also broke the SEC Championships record, school record, meet record and Gilliam Indoor Stadium record at Texas A&M.
- The previous fastest indoor 200m in American history was Gwen Torrence’s 22.33 at the USA Championship in 1996.
- The national champion is now .22 away from Jamaican Merlene Ottey’s 21.87 indoor world record.
In the 2021-22 track & field season, Steiner has earned the following accomplishments:
- 200m American & collegiate indoor record holder (22.09)
- 200m outdoor collegiate record holder (21.80)
- Member of collegiate record outdoor 4x400m relay (3:21.93)
- NCAA outdoor 200m and 4x400m titles
- NCAA and SEC 200m title (indoors)
- NCAA silver and SEC bronze in the 60m
- NCAA bronze in 100m (11.08)
- NCAA 4x400m relay bronze (indoors)
- Seventh fastest 100m runner in collegiate history
- SEC Indoor T&F Women’s Runner of the Year
- SEC Indoor & Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year
- USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Indoor Runner of the Year
- Four-time SEC Women’s Runner of the Week
- Five-time USTFCCCA Athlete of the Week
- Seven-time school record holder (60m, 100m, indoor 200m, outdoor 200m, 300m, indoor 4x400m, outdoor 4x400m)
- Seven Bowerman Watchlist appearances
- In addition to her 200m gold at SECs, Steiner also won bronze in the 60m with a time of 7.19 and was a member of the bronze medal-winning 4x400m relay (3:25.89) that ran under the previous collegiate record.
Like a boss.