Cameron Burrell, Houston NCAA sprinting champ, dies at age 26

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Cameron Burrell of the US (C) competes during a heat of the 4×100 meter relay at the IAAF World Relays athletics event at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) — Former NCAA national champion sprinter Cameron Burrell has died. He was 26.

The University of Houston, where he starred from 2013-2018, announced his death. The school said he died Monday but did not provide further details.

Burrell’s father, Leroy Burrell, a former Olympic gold medal sprinter who coaches Houston’s track team, released a statement through the school.

“My family is extremely saddened with the loss of our son, Cameron,” Leroy Burrell said. “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. We are profoundly grief-stricken and thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support.”

Cameron Burrell won the national title in the 100 meters in 2018 in Eugene, Oregon. He won a second national title with his team that season by running the anchor leg of the 4×100-meter relay.

“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,” athletics director 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.”

Cameron Burrell was a three-time, first-team All-America in the 60-meter dash (2014, 2017-18) in the indoor season and earned first-team All-America honors three times (2016-2018) in the 100 on the outdoor schedule. He also was an All-America honoree as the anchor of the team’s 4X100-meter relay in 2014 and 2018.

He was on the 4×100 relay team which won gold at the World Junior Championships in 2012 and earned silver at the 2019 World Relays. He ran anchor on the United States relay team that won gold at the 2018 Athletics World Cup.

Burrell became the 121st man to run the 100 in less than 10 seconds when he posted a time of 9.93 seconds on June 8, 2017. The mark was .01 of a second faster than his father’s school record.

Along with his father, Burrell is survived by his mother, Olympic gold medalist Michelle Finn-Burrell, and brothers Joshua and Jaden.

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