After finishing fifth in the 200-meter dash final Thursday, Abby Steiner spoke as if her season was complete.
“I’m excited to get ready for next year as a pro and be at this event as a pro without the collegiate season on my legs,” Steiner said, having just finished her 55th race of the year.
But the Dublin Coffman High School and University of Kentucky graduate was not done, joining Melissa Jefferson, Jenna Prandini and Twanisha Terry on the United States 4×100-meter relay team to win gold at the World Athletics Championships Saturday.
Steiner and company took home first place in the final in 41.14 seconds, upsetting heavily favored Jamaica by .04 seconds.
The Jamaican team included both the first and second-place finishers in the 200 meters: Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. They swept the podium in the 100-meter dash, as they had at the Tokyo Olympics. And they had won all but one of the six sprint medals at this meet headed into the 4×100 final.
Despite all that, Steiner, at the age of 22, could add a world championship to her extensive resume.
She ran the race’s second leg, taking the baton from Jefferson with a slight lead. Steiner built on that lead against Jamaican three-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah, as Steiner ran her 100 meters in a 9.86 seconds and Thompson-Herah in 10.10.
After that, she had to watch the nail-biting finish.
“I was screaming,” she said during her post-race media availability. “My voice is kind of gone right now. I’ve never yelled that much during a race before.”
Steiner’s ended up being the fastest split of any of the American runners.
Recently signed with PUMA and having officially turned pro after winning four NCAA titles and earning 15 All-America honors in four years at Kentucky, Steiner holds the American, collegiate, Southeastern Conference and school records in the outdoor 200 meters, winning at the US Outdoor Championship in 21.77 seconds.
And even with 56 races now on her legs this season, Steiner was non-committal when asked if her time at the World Athletics Championships was complete.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I will be done after this meet. I’m not sure about any relays … so we will see.”
The women were set to run the 4×400-meter relay late Sunday night.