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July 21, 2003

USC’S Kenneth Ferguson totaled three gold medals and set a new individual competition record and was part of a team record over the weekend at the Junior Pan American Games in Bridgetown, Barbados.

On Friday night, the Detroit native won the 110m hurdles final with a Pan American Junior Championship record-setting time of 13.60, besting the previous mark of 13.71 set by Rodney Wilson in 1980. Ferguson, who won the U.S. title in June, ran the race while battling a groin injury.

“My goal going into the race was just to place because of the pain I was experiencing,” said Ferguson. “My adrenaline went up and with my teammates cheering me on I forgot about the pain. It was exciting to win my first gold medal.”

Ferguson continued his winning ways on Sunday by capturing the gold in the 400m hurdles with a time of 50.07. Additionally, the sophomore-to-be ran the third leg of Team USA’s record-setting 4×400 relay team. The quartet ran a time of 3:02.88 for a new Pan American Junior Championships record, topping the previous mark of 3:03.53 set by the Team USA in 1991.

“I was nervous about the 400 hurdles race because I wanted to run hard but not to risk injury,” added Ferguson. “I am just happy that I was able to bring home another gold.”

USC signee Stephanie Smith won the women’s 400m gold medal with a time of 52.52. “I just wanted to do my best, but winning was very important,” said Smith. “I wanted to execute and make sure that Team USA finished first.”

The Gamecocks also had Team USA representation with Tawana Watkins in the women’s 400m hurdles and assistant coach Kevin Brown.