July 17, 2002
Rising sophomore Jon Fortenberry, who made the finals of the 400m
tonight with the second-fastest time, is having the time of his life at
the World Junior Championships on and off the track. Fortenberry, also
known as Candy Man (because he always has candy with him), ran the
anchor leg of USC’s NCAA champion 4x400m relay in June.
USC sat down with him tonight to talk about his impressions of Jamaica,
the World Junior meet and his freshman year.
What is your favorite part of being in Jamaica?
Track in the USA isn’t as big as it is here. It’s starting to come
around though. But, I love the crowd here. They play the drums in the
crowd, cheer like crazy – the Jamaicans are treating us like we are
world class athletes.
What is something fun you have done here?
The best thing I have done here is wear US clothes and talk to all the
other people on other teams, from other countries. Everybody is so
amazed by the Americans and they all want to trade clothes.
What is the worst part of being here?
Well, probably when the lizard crawled across me when I was laying in
bed. Yuck. Also I haven’t taken a hot shower yet – the water is just
sort of warm.
What will you remember about your freshman year?
I was a bit beat up indoors and outdoors we went on to win the 4x400m
relay. I was really proud of myself. I am glad I was able to make it
this level. It’s been great.
Anything unpleasant about your freshman year?
Well, when I got a 12 inch spike on my leg in one of my first 400’s.
Losing the 4x400m relay indoors and not winning indoors. But, we won
Are you having a good time with your USC teammates, Lashinda and
Tiffany, and signees, Kenneth and Bershawn?
USC has five people here – including the two signees. The boys from
Texas are talking a lot of smack and we have everybody jumping on our
bandwagon now. The men were sixth outdoors and the women won so
everybody loves the Gamecocks now. It’s been fun talking each other’s
We have had a lot of talk about who’s relay is going to win next year.
USC won this year. We know who is going to win next year.