Olympic hurdler Anna Cockrell couldn’t contain her emotions when she saw the support from her brother, Ross Cockrell, and his numerous Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates as they cheered on her during the Tokyo games.
“Y’all got me crying in the village dining hall,” Cockrell wrote in reaction to the Bucs watch party on Monday during her 400-meter hurdles semifinal race.
Cockrell ran a time of 54.17 seconds, taking second in her heat and fifth overall for the semifinals. Her finals unfortunately performance ended in disqualification on Tuesday due to “running into the wrong lane” per NBC Sports Northwest’s James Best.
Ross, a Bucs cornerback, took inspiration from Anna’s semifinal race and had a monster day at practice with three interceptions. Anna’s older brother is looking to carve out a bigger role this season after playing in all four playoff games despite splitting time between the active roster and practice squad.
“Wow, really making me share the spotlight today,” Anna wrote. “Just kidding. I love this and him. He better do it.”
Anna thanked all of supporters again following the hurdles finals, won by American Sydney McLaughlin, who set a world record of 51.46 seconds.
“Thanks for all the support y’all,” Anna wrote. “I’ve learned so much this year, had so many breakthroughs. Looking forward to what’s next.”
Ross couldn’t say enough about his sister competing in the Olympics.
“She’s worked hard her entire life for this, and I’m just super excited for her,” Ross said according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “She’s an absolute animal on the track. I have a ton of respect for what she does.”
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Ross’s Reaction to Anna Making Olympic Finals
As an older brother, Ross said is accustomed to being the one giving advice.
“One of the things I say to Anna is, she’s a five-star, she was a five-star recruit coming out of high school,” Cockrell said per Laine. “So I just tell her, ‘Be a five-star. Just breathe and do it. … Just breathe, do it and let your light shine.'”
“I’m learning to listen more,” Cockrell added. “It’s one of the things I know I gotta work on with her. We just have good conversations. At the same time, we respect what each other [does] and when we need to give each other that space, we give each other that space.”
Ross, who had practice shortly after the watch party on Monday, already had his heart rate up from watching his sister race.
“She gutted it out at the end,” Ross Cockrell said per Laine. “My heart was pounding through my chest. I was sweating, just watching her run. I mean, it was hard for me to sleep last night, so I hope she got some rest.”
Game Ball to the Cockrells
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians awarded the Cockrell family the game ball from practice in honor of Anna’s performance and Ross’s defense.
“Game ball Cockrell family,” Arians said. “Not just to you and your sister, but your mom and dad too.”
“It’s just a great feeling and a great moment for our family,” Ross said.