CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - T'erea Brown raced her way to 6th place in the final heat of the women's 400m hurdles at the London Olympics. But long before she became an Olympic runner, Brown was being raised on St. Margaret Street in downtown Charleston.
"When she's running I'm always yelling," said Mildred Brown.
Brown is yelling for her niece, T'erea Brown, who came up just short of returning to America with some London Olympic hardware.
Born and raised in Charleston, Brown's cousin Brenda Clark says the runner was "a busy body" and the family didn't realize how talented she was running track until middle school.
"She surprised us all," said Clark. "She never looked back. Track was all she wanted to do. She went into high school running track and became this wonderful high school athlete... high school athlete of the year."
Brown went to high school at Hampton High in Hampton, Virginia. Classmates with Tyrod Taylor, who went on to play quarterback at Virginia Tech, Brown perfected the art of hurdling before college.
After graduating, she sprinted onto the track at the University of Miami where her picture adorned many school athletic media guides. Her quest to make the American Olympic team started taking shape as her years as a Hurricane were coming to a close.
Clark says the family has been in constant contact with Brown's mother as her daughter began racing in qualifiers to make it to London.
"When she qualified, I was in the bank and I just started screaming and yelling and they though something happened," said Clark. "I thought my cousin just qualified for the Olympics, for the finals."
Brown is now regarded as the sixth fastest women in the world in the 400 meter hurdles.
Mildred Brown says the her family in Charleston watched Brown race on television together Wednesday night. She says she's proud of her niece no matter what place she finished.
"We are so very, very proud of our Olympian," said the runner's aunt.
On her Facebook page, T'erea wrote to her supporters "thanks again. We will see you in 2016."