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EUGENE, OREGON — Just a couple weeks after shattering the NCAA 200-meter record at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, University of Kentucky star Abby Steiner is thinking big, again.
“I think I’m ready for another PR,” said Steiner, just minutes after turning in a 22.14 in the first round of the 200 at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. With the fastest time of four heats, Steiner advances to Sunday’s semifinals.
Sha’Carri Richardson, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 but did not compete after testing positive for marijuana, finished with the 10th fastest time (22.69) of four heats Saturday to advance to the semifinals. Gabby Thomas, who won bronze in the 200 in Tokyo, turned in a 22.59 (seventh fastest) and also advanced. The 200 final is set for Sunday evening at 5:46 p.m. ET.
On June 11 at Hayward Field, Steiner ran 21.80, which not only broke the collegiate record but is also the fastest time in the world this year. She also ran a 22.05 in the Kentucky Invitational in April, which is the third fastest time in NCAA history.
“I think it’s nice that NCAAs were at Hayward, too, because it’s coming back to a familiar environment,” Steiner said. “So yeah, just looking to get the win this weekend, whatever it takes. I’m not worried about time.”
Since her record-breaking performance, Steiner said she took a couple days to reset and “take it all in” before returning to training. She hasn’t changed anything about her routine, committed to “sticking with what works.”
Steiner ran Saturday in her Kentucky uniform and said afterward this weekend will be the last time she dons the Wildcat colors. But should she finish in the top three in Sunday’s finals, she’ll trade in her UK uniform for a pretty coveted one — that of the U.S. track and field team.
There’s more good news for Steiner, too — the world championships, set for July 15-24, are also scheduled to take place at Hayward Field.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: US Track & Field: Abby Steiner of UK runs fastest time in 200 meter