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Francine Larrieu (Smith)

Photo of Francine Larrieu (Smith)

Inducted: 1998, athlete

Born: November 23, 1952 - Palo Alto, California

Events
1,500 m - 4:05.09
1 mi. - 4:27.52
3,000 m - 8:50.54
5,000 m - 15:15.20
10,000 m - 31:28.92
marathon - 2:27:15


Francie Larrieu Smith's running career spanned four decades and included 13 world indoor records and a total of 35 American records in distances ranging from 1000 meters to two miles. She began running at 13 and won the first competition she ever entered, a 660-yard race for junior girls. Competing for the San Jose Cindergals, she won the first of her 21 national titles as a 17-year-old in the 1500 meters in 1970. In 1972, she scored an unusual double, winning AAU national titles in the 1500m and cross country. She repeated in 1973, winning the mile and cross-country championships. After missing most of a year with injuries, Larrieu-Smith came back in 1975 to set a world record of 4:28.5 in the mile at the USA-USSR indoor meet. Larrieu-Smith is the only female athlete to make five Olympic teams. She competed in the 1500 meters in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and, also in the 1500m, made the team that boycotted the Olympics in 1980. She missed out on the 1984 team but ran the 10,000 at the 1988 Games, taking fifth. She moved up to the marathon for the 1992 Games, finishing 12th in Barcelona. At the 1992 Games, she carried the U.S. flag at the Opening Ceremonies. She also ran in the 1987 and 1991 World Championships in the 10,000. Selected by Runner's World magazine as "The Most Versatile runner of the Quarter Centurn," Larrieu Smith has been head women's and men's cross country and track and field coach at Southwestern University since 1999. She earned a master's degree in Sports Administration from the University of Texas in 2000.

Records Held
World Record: 1 mi. - 4:28.50

Championships
1988 Olympics: 10,000 m (5th)
1992 Olympics: marathon (12th)
1970 AAU: 1,500 m (1st)
1972 AAU: 1,500 m (1st)
1973 AAU: 1 mi. (1st)

Education
high school: Fremont (Sunnyvale, California), 1970
undergraduate: Long Beach State (Long Beach, California), 1977

Occupations
Coach

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