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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | April 20, 2022

These are the most exciting sprinters in 2022 women’s outdoor track

2022 midseason superlatives for women's outdoor track and field

The women's outdoor track and field season is here. To kick off the season, let's look at some of the most exciting sprinters in the sport. We'll be diving into returning athletes from the shorter sprints, the 100 and 200 meters.  

The most exciting sprinters in 2022 women's outdoor track

Anavia Battle | Ohio State

How exciting is Ohio State's Anavia Battle? Just look at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for your answer; it was there Battle set the all-time collegiate-best mark in the outdoor 200 meters, finishing 21.95 seconds.

Battle ran the fastest preliminary 200 meter time at the 2021 NCAA outdoor championships, before finishing third in the finals. She's the only returner in 2022 from the top three. Expect another exciting season from Battle.

👀: 7 storylines to know ahead of the 2022 women's outdoor track and field season

Celera Barnes | Southern California

Celera Barnes began her collegiate career blazing in the bluegrass state at Kentucky, finishing as a finalist in the 100 meters, 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay at the 2021 NCAA outdoor championships.

In 2022, Barnes takes her talents to Southern California to compete for the defending national champions. The Lady Trojans reload with proven talent that should keep the buzz surrounding the program after the title.

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Kevona Davis | Texas

As a freshman, Kevona Davis helped pace a fifth-place 4x100 meter relay and finished eighth in the 200 meters last spring. With a year under her belt, Davis returns to lead a dangerous Texas team that has talent throughout.

Jayla Kirkland | Georgia

After transferring from Florida State, Jayla Kirkland brings renewed excitement to a Georgia Bulldogs team that finished third in team scoring in 2021. Kirkland was arguably the fastest woman in the ACC last year, finishing first in the 100 meters and leading a first-place 4x100 meter relay finish at the ACC Championships. She followed that performance with a sixth-place 100 meter finish at the NCAA Championship. Now in Athens, Kirkland gives Georgia an exciting sprinter at every meet.

💍: 5 track and field programs that could be the next first-time national champion

Kemba Nelson | Oregon

Kemba Nelson enters her senior season coming off of a fourth-place finish at 100 meter final at the 2021 outdoor championships. Even though Nelson and the Ducks DQ'd in the 4x100 meter final at the championships, don't count out Nelson leading a bounce back effort in 2022; Oregon did run the second-fastest time in the prelims after all.

Ackera Nugent | Baylor

As a freshman in 2021, Baylor's Ackera Nugent qualified for the 100 meter finals at the NCAA outdoor championships. Nugent made her presence known throughout the Big 12 and on the national stage last year. In 2022, Nugent should be one of the most exciting sprinters in the country with a year of experience under her belt.

BIG NAMES: 40 names you should know before the 2022 women’s outdoor track season

Favour Ofili | LSU

Favour Ofili is the latest speedster from a long line of LSU greats. Ofili finished fourth in the 200 meters and ran the second leg of LSU's second-place 4x100 meter relay at the 2021 outdoor championships. With a personal-best time of 22.30, Ofili thrills when she hits the track.

Abby Steiner | Kentucky

Abby Steiner missed most of the 2021 outdoor season. When she returned for the 2022 indoor season she broke records in the 200 meters. Only one woman ever ran faster. 

Now Steiner is set to make her outdoor return. In 2022, all eyes will be on her to see if she can continue her impressive streak.

🗓: Here's when the 2022 outdoor track and field season starts

Lanae-Tava Thomas | Texas

Lanae-Tava Thomas was a top sprinter on Southern California's 2021 championship team. She was the third leg on the first-place 4x100 meter relay. Individually, Thomas finished seventh in the 100 meter finals and qualified for the 200 meters.

In 2022, Thomas joins the Texas Longhorns after transferring in the spring. In new threads, Thomas is primed for an exciting season.

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