University of Houston’s Track and Field program took a hit Tuesday with news of the passing of alum Cameron Burrell. He was 26. Born to Olympic gold medalist parents, Burrell rose to the challenge making a name for himself at an early age.
His biography on the Red Bull website mentioned his long relationship with track. “In this region, the track is huge, with large community involvement,” Cameron told Red Bull. “Parents and kids take it seriously, and it’s very competitive but supportive as well.” Serious is an understatement.
In May, Cameron was featured in Red Bull’s The Red Bulletin alongside his childhood best friend and running mate Elijah Hall.
The article includes a photo of Hall and Cameron alongside coaches Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell labeled “Running royalty.” Cameron described his decision to run for his father and godfather as a “business decision.” It was about professional development and becoming his best self.
And it was a wise decision. According to a statement from his alma mater, Cameron earned numerous honors, including All-America First team honors in 2014 and 2017-2018. In 2017, he beat his father’s school record by beasting the 100m in 9.93 seconds. As a senior, Cameron won the 2018 NCAA Men’s 100m.
Cameron and Hall would also win the Men’s 4×100. Their team broke the collegiate record, which Hall predicted was their destiny. “That was one of my proudest moments,” Hall told The Red Bulletin. “To run on the same team with Cam, and before we both left, we broke a record that stood for 29 years. We really did that, on the biggest stage in college.”
Posting to Instagram, Hall shared an emotional message along with an old picture of him and Cameron.
“My brother. My heart is broken. Please make this pain go away. I will miss you brother. I will carry this legacy. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, REST EASY BROTHER. I love you.”
The pain could also be felt in the statement from his father and former head coach. No parent wants to outlive their child. And now, the Burrell family has the unfortunate task of saying goodbye to a beloved son.
“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,” Leroy Burrell 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.”
Along with his parents, Cameron is survived by his two brothers Joshua and Jaden.
“Words cannot express how we feel for Leroy, Michelle, and their family. Cameron grew up around the Houston Athletics Department, worked hard, and developed himself into one of our greatest Track and Field stars,” Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman said. “To lose him so suddenly is tragic. We ask all University of Houston and track and field fans to keep Coach Burrell and his family in their thoughts and prayers.”