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July 16, 2002

USC has three athletes and two signees competing at this week’s World Junior Track and Field Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. USC sat down with all five of them today to find out their impressions of Jamaica and competing on an international team.

The USA team is staying at the University of West Indies – in the Championship Village. The rooms don’t have air conditioning, no tvs or radios. So the teams spend a lot of time hanging out together or sleeping.

Tiffany Ross – tell me about what your day is like.

“Yesterday we got up early and had an 8:30 am meeting with the USA men’s and women’s teams. Then we went to practice and then to a press conference for the IAAF.

“The press kept asking us questions – trying to get us to predict how many medals we would win. We just told them we were here to try to do the best we can do.

“Today we slept in. My roommate here is Lashinda Demus, my teammate from South Carolina. We hang out with a lot of the girls, getting to know each other.

Ross also talked about the grass track they are practicing on at the University of West Indies. “We practice on grass in Columbia with Coach Frye, but this track has lanes and everything.

“I am getting a lot of rest. I am reading a book one of my USA teammates loaned me – Stand Off. It’s pretty good. We haven’t played a lot cards, but I am sure we will.

Lashinda Demus talked about the food and her trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken with her teammates: “The food is pretty good at the dorm, but last night, after our meeting we went and got some food at KFC. Do you know in Jamaica they don’t have honey or jelly?”

“We had lizards in our room, so we put up screens to keep them out.

Jon Fortenberry talked about the lizard that crawled across his face! “I ran into the shower and it turned on! I was like ‘OHHHHHHHH!!!!’ We have named that lizard ‘Geico’. My roommate here is Ashton Collins (signee going to Texas). He is cool.

Fortenberry also talked about how much more he respects the US now after being in Jamaica. “Jamaica doesn’t have all the resources the USA has. The people are very nice though. I can’t wait to run in the stadium. This meet is bigger than the NCAA Championships!

“It’s way hotter here than in Columbia. The heat just sticks to you.

Signee Kenneth Ferguson was excited about one thing in the athlete’s Village “There is free water and free soda! All the free liquid you can drink!”