Charlotte’s Anna Cockrell is one race away from an Olympic medal, and when she competes for it Tuesday night, she’ll have an entire NFL team on her side.
Cockrell, who attended Providence Day in Charlotte, finished in second place in the second women’s 400-meter hurdles semifinal Monday morning in Tokyo with a time of 54.17 seconds. Femke Bol of the Netherlands won (0:53.91).
Finishing second was enough to advance Cockrell to the medal event at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Don’t be surprised if members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all watch the final together; the whole team saw the semifinal Monday morning at training camp inside the team’s auditorium.
Anna Cockrell is the younger sister of Bucs defensive back Ross Cockrell, a former Duke star who spent the 2019 season with the Panthers. Ross Cockrell and his teammates had a watch party Monday where everyone — Rob Gronkowski included — got excited to see Anna get a chance to run for gold.
Anna Cockrell opened up to The Observer last month about her battle with depression and how she almost quit track and field for good. For more on her journey, read here.