Anna Cockrell, reigning 2021 NCAA hurdles champ, wants to make the Olympic team, too By Lauren Schenker SOJC Track Bureau for RunBlogRun


Anna Cockrell won the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles in the NCAA Champs. She is competing in both events in the 2021 US Olympic Trials.

In the 100m hurdles, Anna was the first collegian finisher in the toughest event in women's track & field on the American and global sport of track & field. Anna will be back in the 400m hurdles later this week.

This piece was written by Lauren Schenker. Lauren is in a class with Professor Lori Shontz at the University of Oregon. We asked Lauren why she writes about sports, and this is what she responded:

"I like writing about sports because you never know how the story will end. There is joy, heartbreak, anxiety, calmness, cheating, politics, love, and hate in sports. Each athlete has what makes them different from the rest and I think capturing that and sharing it with others is an incredible task. I also love to learn and I find myself learning something new with each story I take on."

All SOJC articles are edited by Lori Shontz and Larry Eder.

Larry apologizes on this one to Lauren, as he got to editing the piece just after the 100m hurdle final. We thought the piece was quite good and wanted you, our readers, to appreciate this fine athlete.

Thanks, Lauren!

Anna Cockrell.jpgAnna Cockrell, photo courtesy of USC

Anna Cockrell, reigning 2021 NCAA hurdles champ, wants to make the Olympic team, too

By Lauren Schenker

SOJC Track Bureau for RunBlogRun

When Anna Cockrell, a redshirt senior from the University of Southern California, claimed the 2021 NCAA titles in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles, becoming the second woman to win both, she felt victorious in more ways than one.

As someone who struggles with depression, Cockrell went through times when she couldn't imagine winning a title.

"In 2019, no, honestly, I didn't think this was possible. When I was really in the thick of it, struggling and suffering the most, no," she said. "From 2019 until now, I've put in a lot of work off of the track and in therapy to get to where I am right now."

And now, starting exactly a week after her NCAA victories, Cockrell is competing in both events at the Olympic Trials and hopes to do well enough to represent the United States this summer at the Tokyo Summer Games.

And she is on her way.

Despite a rocky start Saturday in the first round of the 100 hurdles, Cockrell won her heat in 12.63, the fourth-best time overall.

"I was really nervous," she said. "I didn't get my best start. I floated a bit over [hurdle] one, but by hurdle three I started to get back into my rhythm."I thought about being quick on the ground, snapping down, maintaining my technique [hurdles] eight to 10, and running through the line."

The semifinals and finals will both be run Sunday afternoon.

(Editor's note: Anna Cockrell ran 12.59 in the second semi-final, and then, Anna took fifth in the 100m hurdle final, in 12.58. She was the first collegian in the final.)

She also is set to return to the track for the second half of the Olympic Trials for the Women's 400m Hurdles. The first round is scheduled for Friday, June 25.

Coming off two incredible individual wins and a team victory at the 2021 NCAA Track & Field Championships, Cockrell feels prepared for the trials having competed in them in 2016.

"It's very different due to COVID-19. It's a brand-new stadium," said Cockrell. "It's good that I have that experience in 2016 so that I feel more prepared for the environment, for the intensity, and for the energy that is here."

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