Man Born Into 'Track Royalty' Dead at 26

Death of Carl Lewis' godson Cameron Burrell reported at parking garage
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 11:35 AM CDT
A Member of 'Track Royalty' Dead at 26
Houston's Cameron Burrell raises two fingers to indicate Houston's back-to-back men's 400-meter relay wins, during the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field on June 8, 2018, in Eugene, Ore.   (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP)

A former NCAA track star who was the godson of US track and field legend Carl Lewis has died. Cameron Burrell, a former University of Houston sprinter who won NCAA championships in the 100-meter race in 2018 and in the 4x100-meter relay in 2017 and 2018, died Monday at age 26, according to a statement from the university's athletics department. A cause of death was not provided. TMZ cites medical records as showing the place of death as a "parking garage." Burrell was "one of our greatest Track and Field stars" and "to lose him so suddenly is tragic," University of Houston VP of Athletics Chris Pezman said in a statement, per People. Father Leroy Burrell, who is also the Cougars' head track couch, issued a statement saying the family was "profoundly grief-stricken" by the loss.

Burrell—the 121st man to run the 100-meter in under 10 seconds, with a 2017 time of 9.93 seconds—was "born into track royalty" and not just as the godson of nine-time gold medalist Lewis, per the Houston Chronicle. His father, who twice set the world record for the 100-meter sprint, took home gold in the 4x100-meter men's relay at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, while mother Michelle Finn-Burrell earned gold in the same event for the women's team. Burrell also excelled in this event, helping set a collegiate record time of 38.17 seconds in 2018. "Whether this is predestined or not, this is always what I wanted to be in life," Burrell said in 2018, per the Chronicle. "I always knew I was a great athlete. I just had to find my own path and find a sport I was most passionate about. It just so happened to be the one that my dad chose as well." (More track and field stories.)

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