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Cameron Burrell, a former national champion 100-meter sprinter at University of Houston and the son of Olympic gold medal-winning parents, has died. He was 26.
No cause of death has been announced.
After claiming a state title at Ridge Point High School, Burrell won the NCAA individual national championship in the 100-meter dash in 2018, something his father Leroy Burrell did 28 years prior.
In that same season, the Atlanta native ran the anchor leg for the Cougars in their championship 4×100-meter relay. The team defended its NCAA national championship in that event.
Burrell — the 121st man to break the 10-second barrier in the 100m sprint — turned pro after his collegiate career. In May, he was pictured on the cover of Red Bull’s magazine Red Bulletin. Burrell shared the cover image on Instagram with the caption, “If you ain’t seen me lately just know I’ve been working. Now it’s time to show the world my gift.”
Burrell came from an iconic track and field family. His father was the former world-record holder in the 100 meters and his mother, Michelle Finn-Burrell, won a sprint relay gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Spain. His aunt, Dawn Burrell, participated in the long jump at the 2000 Olympics in Australia. His godfather, Carl Lewis, won nine gold medals and is one of the most well-known athletes in history.
“My family is extremely saddened with the loss of our son, Cameron, last night. We are going through profound sorrow and ask that all of our friends, extended University of Houston family and the track and field community in the U.S. and abroad allow us to gather with our closest family and friends,” Burrell’s father and longtime Houston track and field coach said in a statement. “We are profoundly grief stricken and thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. We will forward more information when it is available.”
Funeral arrangements are unknown at this time, but the university will announce more information at a later time. The school will have counseling services available to track and field athletes, coaches and athletic department staff members.
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