Former NCAA Track Champion Cameron Burrell, Godson of Carl Lewis, Dead at 26

by Jennifer Shea

Former NCAA track champion Cameron Burrell has died at age 26. He was the godson of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.

No cause of death was released. But medical records list the place of Burrell’s death as a “parking garage,” TMZ reports.

Burrell was a track star at the University of Houston, where he won the 100 meters national championship in 2018, per the Houston Chronicle. He also anchored the school’s 4x100m relay team, and he set an NCAA record in the 4x100m relay.

Family of Cameron Burrell Releases Statement

Burrell was the son of UH track coach Leroy Burrell, a gold medal sprinter who was at one point the 100 meters world record holder.

The deceased athlete’s family announced his death on Tuesday in a statement released through the University of Houston.

“My family is extremely saddened with the loss of our son, Cameron, last night,” Leroy Burrell said in the statement. “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.”

He added, “We are profoundly grief-stricken, and thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. We will forward more information when it is available.”

Burrell Had Been Trying to Go Pro

In April, Burrell had taken part in the USA Track & Field Grand Prix, and he made it to the final of the 100 meters. He finished in ninth place.

Earlier this year, Burrell was profiled in Red Bull’s Red Bulletin. He spoke of his friendship with fellow runner Elijah Hall. And he talked about his decision to attend the school where his father coached.

“I went through the same recruiting process that every recruit goes through in this country,” Cameron Burrell said. “They came to my house, I got phone calls from rival schools, I explored. But I knew the best thing that was going to happen for me was staying here [in Houston]. Not necessarily because I’d be comfortable, but because I know at the end of the day they have my best interests at heart.”

“My dad taught me resiliency,” the younger Burrell added. “He’s been through a lot in his life, a lot in his path as a young adult and as a coach, but he never quit on himself.”

Funeral arrangements are reportedly pending and will be announced by the family soon.