USATF Women’s 200 — Steiner Down To 21.77

Abby Steiner snipped 0.03 off her PR as she produced her third sub-22 of the year. (KEVIN MORRIS)

ANTICIPATION RAN HIGH for the women’s half-lapper. All three Tokyo Olympians — Gabby Thomas, Jenna Prandini & Anavia Battle — were entered, but there were several reasons to project a different lineup for Eugene ’22.

One was 22-year-old Abby Steiner, who scorched a Collegiate Record 21.80 on this track two weeks earlier. Another was ’19 WC runner-up Brittany Brown, coming back strong with a 21.99 after a lackluster ’21. And there was Sha’Carri Richardson, owner of a 22.00 in ’20 and desperate for some level of redemption after her earlier 100 disaster here.

The first heat matched Olympic bronze medalist Thomas — a slight formchart favorite over Steiner — and Richardson, both of whom pushed hard, with Thomas prevailing. Steiner took the second in the day’s fastest time, 22.14, just ahead of Cambrea Sturgis at 22.24. Tamara Clark and Kayla White also posted fast times, 22.29 and 22.38.

Prandini led the field off the curve in the first semi, passing the 100 in 11.30, ahead of Shania Collins (11.39) and Steiner (11.41). But 20m later, the NCAA champion changed gears and simply flew away to an eased-up 21.80, equaling her own world-leading time. Sturgis and Prandini followed in 22.11 and 22.19.

In the second semi, Clark and White were even off the curve, before Clark pulled away to a 22.05 win. Brown came up for 2nd (22.16), ahead of White (22.18). A struggling Thomas faded but held on for 4th (22.35). Richardson was never in contention and finished 5th in 22.45.

Two hours later, the finalists assembled on a hot afternoon. Prandini (lane 8) again started fast and ran a great curve, consuming only 11.27 seconds for her first 100. She reached the straight just ahead of Clark, with Steiner a long meter back, Brown 4th and Sturgis 5th.

Prandini held her lead until, with 40m remaining, Steiner powered past, followed closely by Clark. The Kentucky junior gained with every stride and broke the beam with another world-leading mark, 21.77. Clark hung on for a PR 21.92, and Prandini claimed the third World spot (22.01, a season’s best), while Sturgis (22.16) and Brown (22.22) finished well.

Thomas, who suffered a grade-two hamstring tear two weeks ago, was last across the line and disconsolate afterwards: “I worked so hard to be here, and it was all taken away in one second. I did the best I could.”

Said Steiner, “After NCAA, we took a couple of days off to reset and refocus, then followed the same training cycle as before. The main focus was to come away with a win. I knew if I replicated my NCAA races with some better weather, I’d have a PR. For Worlds, I just want to put together the races the same way I did here.”

Clark said, “I’m very shocked. I feel I can make top three in Worlds.”

Added Prandini, “My main goal was to make the team. I want to get a medal on US soil.”


WOMEN’S 200 RESULTS

FINAL (June 26; wind –0.3)

1. Abby Steiner (Ky) 21.77 (WL, AL) (=16, x W; =6, =9 A)

(6.34, 5.02 [11.36], 5.11 [16.47], 5.30) (11.36/10.41);

2. Tamara Clark (adi) 21.92

(6.19, 5.11 [11.30], 5.15 [16.45], 5.47) (11.30/10.62);

3. Jenna Prandini (Pum) 22.01

(6.29, 4.98 [11.27], 5.15 [16.42], 5.59) (11.27/10.74);

4. Cambrea Sturgis (adi) 22.16

(6.33, 5.11 [11.44], 5.18 [16.62], 5.54) (11.44/10.72);

5. Brittany Brown (adi) 22.22

(6.35, 5.03 [11.38], 5.31 [16.69], 5.53) (11.38/10.84);

6. A’Keyla Mitchell (unat) 22.39

(6.41, 5.09 [11.50], 5.26 [16.76], 5.63) (11.50/10.89);

7. Kayla White (Nik) 22.39

(6.34, 5.15 [11.49] 5.25 [16.74], 5.65) (11.49/10.90);

8. Gabby Thomas (NBal/TBB) 22.47

(6.34, 5.14 [11.48], 5.26 [16.74] 5.73) (11.48/10.99).

HEATS (June 25)

I(0.5)–1. Thomas 22.59; 2. Sha’Carri Richardson (Nik) 22.69; 3. Candace Hill (Asics) 22.96; 4. Angie Annelus (adi) 23.01; 5. Ashley Henderson (adi) 23.43.

II(0.1)–1. Steiner 22.14; 2. Sturgis 22.24; 3. Mitchell 22.43; 4. Kynnedy Flannel (Tx) 22.63; 5. Kiara Parker (Asics) 23.00; 6. Symone Darius (unat) 23.06; 7. Kortnei Johnson (Nik) 23.07.

III(-1.6)–1. Prandini 22.65; 2. Shania Collins (unat) 22.82; 3. Brown 22.90; 4. Shannon Ray (adi) 23.28; 5. Mariah Ayers (Bay) 23.29;… dq—Maia McCoy (StarA).

IV(0.6)–1. Clark 22.29; 2. White 22.38; 3. Anavia Battle (OhSt) 22.57; 4. Jonah Ross (NCAT) 23.17; 5. Raheema Westfall (unat) 23.19; 6. LaSarah Hargrove (Ia) 23.47.

SEMIS (June 26)

I(0.9)–1. Steiner 21.80 =PR (=WL, =AL) (=8, =13 A);

2. Sturgis 22.11; 3. Prandini 22.19; 4. Mitchell 22.44; 5. Collins 22.45; 6. Hill 22.50; 7. Flannel 22.63; 8. Darius 22.97.

II(1.0)–1. Clark 22.05; 2. Brown 22.16; 3. White 22.18; 4. Thomas 22.35; 5. Richardson 22.47; 6. Annelus 22.68; 7. Battle 22.72; 8. Parker 23.17.

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