Friends, coaches remember runner Sabrina Cammock for infectious personality, competitive drive

first_img Published on March 9, 2015 at 11:48 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Sabrina Cammock took pride in her name and her identity. One time when she was in high school, the athletic director approached her and asked which runner she was.The question stopped Cammock in her tracks.She straightened her back, gave him a look and said, “I’m Sabrina, don’t ya know?” From then on, whenever the two crossed paths again, he jokingly repeated the phrase to her.Cammock — throughout her life — was the type of person whose personality was infectious and drew widespread respect.“She was just a young lady of dignity,” her high school track coach Linda Jordan said. “That’s how I can sum it up with Sabrina, she was just a young lady of dignity.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Saturday morning, Cammock was found dead in her room in the Hotel Edison in New York City. The 21-year-old Syracuse University sprinter, from Queens, New York, spent Friday night celebrating with friends and teammates, but didn’t wake up the next morning. An initial autopsy was inconclusive.Cammock was one of the most successful sprinters in Syracuse history and was in the middle of a senior season in which she placed 13th overall in the 60 meters at the Atlantic Coast Conference indoor championships. She was also the school’s record holder for the 4×100 meter relay. She was a well-liked person and everyone — even if they didn’t know her personally — had heard of her personality and running dominance.“She always believed in me and she was always proud of me,” said Aziza Hawthorne, Cammock’s best friend and “little sister.” “And I want to stay strong for her, but sometimes it’s been hard and emotions come in waves… when it starts to sink in I can’t breathe.“My heart is bleeding and I’m drowning and it’s just really, really the worst thing ever.”On the morning of Cammock’s death, Jordan was at a state track meet, and a coach from another school brought her name up — unaware that she had died. They were talking about the best sprinters that had gone through the Catholic school programs, and Cammock was the first to come to mind.In Cammock’s junior season, she led her school to its first-ever Millrose Games held at Madison Square Garden. She was one leg of the 4×400 meter relay, but had come into the event injured. Her coaches told her that she shouldn’t run.“’Are you kidding me?’” Jordan recalled Cammock saying, “‘I’m going to do this. I’ll deal with it after I get off the track.’”It was only a year prior that she had started running. She joined the team as a sophomore who didn’t know how to use her hands or her feet or even follow the rules. She disqualified herself from a meet for blatantly switching lanes during a sprint.But her talent and speed were undeniable. Even in her first season, she qualified for the state meet. Her talents came naturally to her, whether it was running, singing or in her work as an intern at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital.Cammock’s family opened its doors to her friends and extended family on Sunday. For Hawthorne, coming home from school in Binghamton was almost too difficult. She said she knew everything and everyone at home would remind her of Cammock.Hawthorne said that Cammock never doubted her, even when Hawthorne doubted herself. There are some runners that don’t have fun when they compete, Hawthorne said, and let the moment get the best of them. But Cammock just went out and had fun when she competed.“It’s heartbreaking,” Syracuse freshman runner Justyn Knight said. “She always had a smile if I said hi.”On the bus to meets, she’d belt out her beautiful singing voice on the bus. After running, she’d eat the buffalo wings that Jordan secretly made just for her. When someone else did well, she’d go around and tell everyone how proud she was of them.In early February, Hawthorne introduced Cammock to everyone at a track meet as her sister, because, as Hawthorne put it, that’s just who she was.“She can make you laugh, she can empathize with you. She can do — she’s just Superwoman,” Hawthorne said. “… She just didn’t realize what a person she was.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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