A Lake Ginninderra College student is already plotting his path to the Olympics after becoming Australia’s fastest under-20 (U20) athlete.
Cameron Myers, 16, became the second-youngest person in the world to run a mile in less than four minutes, at the Maurie Plant Classic in Melbourne late last month.
He clocked an astonishing time of three minutes, 55.44 seconds at the annual track and field event on Thursday, 23 February, finishing third behind Australia’s Commonwealth Games 1500-metre champion Olli Hoare.
This is a world record for 16-year-olds, and Myers would be the youngest person to ever achieve the feat if it weren’t for Jakob Ingebrigtsen. Norway’s current Olympic 1500m champion was nine days younger when he ran the same distance in three minutes, 58.07 seconds in May 2017.
It’s an impressive accomplishment nonetheless, but Myers is modest in victory.
“It’s a very cool achievement but it sort of doesn’t mean much in the sense that it’s how you progress into open ranks that really matters.”
Myers is in year 11 at Lake Ginninderra College but traces his athleticism back to his time at Aranda Primary School and Canberra High School, when he took part in as many sports carnivals and physical education classes as he could.
“It certainly developed through doing sports at school, such as school carnivals, as well as joining in the regional and state carnivals,” he says.
He had private coaching for two years in high school, before Athletics ACT 2020 Male Youth Athlete of the Year Tom Palfrey took him under his wing.
Last year, aged 15, Myers competed in the U20 category at the Australian National Championships in Sydney and came third in the 1500m.
“I was really satisfied with that race,” he says.
He has returned to Canberra after his latest achievement, with support all around, from family members to school friends.
“My parents are very happy for me, and my sister is obviously very supportive but she’s not too interested in the whole athletics thing.”
Myers is now preparing to return to Sydney for the Australian Track and Field Championships at the end of March.
“And after that, it will be about getting on the Australian open team, whether that be the Commonwealth Games in 2026 all the way to the Brisbane Olympics in 2032. Just as many representative opportunities as I can get, I suppose.”
As for the Olympics, the 2028 Games are “definitely on my radar”, with 2024 “a bit too soon”.
“I’m motivated by seeing how far I can go,” he says.
“You see people on TV and how fast they can go and it motivates you. You want to see how far you can get. And I also have really good training partners, who motivate me to try and get to their level.”
For now, he admits everyone is slightly scared of him at regular school athletics carnivals.