July 9, 2002
Columbia, SC – South Carolina will send three colleigate athletes, Jon Fortenberry, Tiffany Ross and Lashinda Demus, to the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica July 16-21. Two of the Gamecocks signees, Bershawn Jackson and Kenneth Ferguson, have also qualified.
Fortenberry (Marietta, Ga.) will compete for Team USA in the 400m and as a member of the USA’s 4x400m relay. Fortenberry ran the anchor leg of the Gamecocks’ NCAA champion 4x400m relay in June. He was second at the USA Junior Championships in the 400m.
“The experience gained from the World Junior meet will help Jon prepare for being a finalist in open events at the NCAA level,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “Jon has had an outstanding freshman year in that he was in NCAA qualifier indoors and outdoors. With those kind of performances, there are higher expectations and this meet will help him gain the experience he needs to be a finalist next year at the USA Championships to give him a chance to be on an international team.”
Ross (Miami, Fla.) will compete in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and as a member of Team USA’s 4x400m relay. She will also be an alternate on Team USA’s 4x100m relay. Ross won the 100m hurdles at the USA Junior meet and was the runner-up in the 400m hurdles. She was also the runner-up at the NCAA meet in the 400m hurdles and was eighth in the 100m hurdles.
“The mechanics of the two hurdles races is different,” said Frye. “Tiffany is an exceptional athlete. Hurdles take exceptional athletes, but having two different types of hurdles, takes an even more exceptional athlete. I expect her to contend for both titles in both hurdles and to be on a world championship relay team.”
Demus (Palmdale, Calif.) will run the 400m hurdles and also compete as a member of Team USA’s 4x400m relay. Demus has the world junior record in the 400m hurdles, an event she won at the NCAA meet. She was also a member of USC’s 4x400m relay that won the NCAA title with a collegiate record.
“The only person that controls Lashinda Demus’ fate is Lashinda Demus. She is gifted, she has a strong competitive will. If anything limits her, it will be her efforts to over-achieve, but it won’t be from fear of competition or high expectations,” said Frye.
USC signee Bershawn Jackson (Miami, Fla.) will compete in the 400m hurdles and with Team USA’s 4x400m relay. Jackson won the 400m hurdles at the USA junior meet.
USC signee Kenneth Ferguson (Detroit, Mich.) will compete in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles. He will also run a leg of Team USA’s 4x400m relay. Ferguson was the runner-up in both hurdles events at the USA Junior meet.
Demus and Ross will train in Miami before departing with Team USA for a meet in the Bahamas on Friday, July 12 and Sat., July 13. Fortenberry will join the team in Jamaica. The team then travel to Jamaica on Sun., July 14 with the World Junior Championships running from July 16-21 in Kingston.