Appreciating Cameron Myers Brilliance At 17 Years Old

By Kyle Merber

February 28, 2024

In my experience, life is good as a 17-year-old with modest personal bests.

The jeers from classmates about my short-shorts had tempered down because they now served a higher purpose. My posting on Dyestat had never been better received, regardless of how stupid my jokes became. And well before the early decision letters had been sent out, I was already suffering from a serious case of senioritis, showing up to school late with McDonalds breakfast in hand.

It’s hard to imagine what Cameron Myers’s daily first period McDonald’s order might be… or would it be Hungry Jack’s? He probably doesn’t have one, because the Australian phenom is a serious athlete whose personal bests of 3:33.26 for 1500m and 3:52.44 for the mile indicate potential beyond state championships this spring.

This past weekend at a low-key meet full of talent in New South Wales, the high school senior took down 2022 World Champion Jake Wightman, 3:49 mile training partner Jye Edwards, former UNC stand out Jesse Hunt, and an impressive field of professionals as he led eight men under 3:37.

While Myers’s 3:33.30 winning time was just shy of his personal best and he already had the Olympic standard, there is a significant difference in his races this season compared to last summer. Now he is winning! Last July in the Chorzow Diamond League, the kid was dragged to an 11th place finish and it is the unofficial policy of The Lap Count that if you don’t finish in the top eight in a track race that it actually doesn’t count. And we aren’t willing to make exceptions just because this rule suddenly impacts a minor!

But this time around, with 300m to go in the race, sensing the pace was too slow, Myers took the lead and held off the field. It might be four one-hundredths slower, but this is a significantly better run. Combine that result with his season opener of 1:47.11 for 800m and he is fairly in the conversation to make a loaded Australian Olympic squad.

However with an athlete this year in his career, it’s important to also take the long view. If all goes well, he’ll be running well beyond Paris. Thankfully, Myers seems to be in good hands.

As of last year, he was tapping out around 95km/week – an extremely normal amount for a 4:30 miler to run, let alone someone of world class abilities. And despite a steep upward trajectory, the decision was made to forgo the World Championships last summer.

But really what it comes down to is staying healthy and in love with the sport. Fans love to cheer on young talent and invest heavily in early success. Inevitably there will be bumps along the way so when the first one inevitably comes for Cam – hopefully a long time from now – can we all just agree to cool it?

Let the kids play and let’s stop eating our young. Personally, I am buckling up to enjoy the progress of patient zero: the first elite athlete whose entire career will be in super shoes.

(Great interview from last summer with Mitch from Straight At It)

For more of the top stories and analysis from the biggest stories in track and field from the past week, subscribe to The Lap Count newsletter for free. New edition every Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET.

Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.