Q&A: National recognition motivating top senior runner
Three years ago, senior sprinter and long jumper Cameron Burrell arrived on campus with big shoes to fill. But Burrell proved his doubters wrong with hard work at training and consistent performances on the track.
Burrell has long since left the shadow of his Olympics gold medalist h father and current track and field head coach Leroy Burrell. Cameron has his sights set on taking more school records home with him on graduation day.
We caught up with the senior leader to hear his thoughts about what he hopes he and his team will accomplish this season.
The Cougar: You just took first place at the Reveille Invitational. What goals do you have for yourself this season?
Cameron Burrell: Basically just pick up where I left off last year. Attach some titles to the University and my name. For me, it would be to win the 60 long jump indoor and the 100 long jump outdoor, as well as the 4×100 relay outdoors.
TC: What was your reaction when you heard you and your teammates would get the chance to represent the United States at the Universiade?
CB: Okay, now that was a shocker because I don’t think that’s ever been done. The World University Games usually select athletes from all over the country. But for it to be just the University of Houston taking a team to represent the country is a complete honor. The coaches did their thing on that one, and it’s huge for our program.
TC: You were recently named to the Bowerman Award watch list as one of seventeen athletes who received votes. What was your reaction to that?
CB: I felt pretty good. It’s good to know that other coaches and athletes out there know what’s going on in Houston. So earning a good amount of recognition is always an honor.
TC: Do you see it as a piece of motivation or a distraction?
CB: Oh no, it wouldn’t be a distraction at all. Definitely a piece of motivation.
TC: What type of leadership role are you hoping to have on the team during your senior year?
CB: One that leads by example. Somebody who always does the right thing and trains hard, see the fruits of my labor.
TC: What’s your reaction when you hear people like Coach Lewis say the men are going to compete for a national championship this year?
CB: It doesn’t come as a surprise to me. It’s the truth. That’s why we’re here. We’ve been building this program ever since we stepped on this campus. Now the results are beginning to show.