Francie Larrieu Smith

Birthday: 11/23/52 Mile PR: 4:27.52 - 1979
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 4:05.09 - 1976
High School: Fremont HS (CA)
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
College: Cal State Long Beach / UCLA
Current Residence: Georgetown, TX

Francie Larrieu Smith was the first U.S. woman to break 4:30 in the Mile outdoors when she ran 4:28.2 in Mainz, Germany on June 28, 1977. The five-time U.S. Olympic team member also was the first U.S. woman sub-4:30 (indoors on February 15, 1975).

Francie won a total of 22 national titles over the course of her long, distinguished career starting at the age of 17 when she won the AAU 1500m in 1970. Larrieu Smith continued her success as the 1500m-1 Mile national champion in '72, '73, '76, '77, '79 and '80, the AAU indoor Mile champion in 1975, '77, '78 and '79 and the AIAW 1 Mile champion in 1974. 

In 1975, Francie set a world record of 4:28.5 in the Mile at the U.S.-Soviet Union indoor meet and over the course of her brilliant career set the U.S. Mile outdoor record six times, the most of any American, and the World indoor Mile record four times (the most by any gender). To cap her decorated career, she was the flag bearer for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team in Barcelona, Spain.

Larrieu Smith is currently the Head Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.

FUN FACT: Francie's brother Ron Larrieu was a 1964 Olympian in the 10,000 meters.

FUN FACT II: The Mile legend was also selected "The Most Versatile Runner of the Quarter Century" by Runner's World magazine in 1999.

News

Larrieu Smith named to Pac-12 All-Century Team

November 24, 2015

Mile legend was also selected "The Most Versatile Runner of the Quarter Century" by Runner's World magazine in 1999.

From Southwestern Pirates

Francie Larrieu Smith was named to the Pac-12 Conference's All-Century Team for women's cross country, the league office announced on Tuesday. Larrieu...

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Going Head to Head: Who is the Greatest Miler in History?

September 20, 2012

By Barbara Huebner, NYRR News

Some of the greatest Milers in the world have won the Fifth Avenue Mile Presented by Nissan, which will be run for the 32nd time on Saturday. Sydney Maree, Steve Scott, Mary Slaney, John Walker, Peter Elliott, and Bernard Lagat are among those who have broken the...

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Interview with Francie Larrieu Smith… an Olympic Legend

February 10, 2012

By Dan Helfrick, Huxley Running Co.

Francie Larrieu Smith was named by Runner’s World as the “most versatile runner of the Quarter century”. And rightfully so, as she competed in four Olympic Games racing from the 1500 to the marathon! She had a 30 year long athletic career and now coaches at...

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Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

ELEVATE
Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

CELEBRATE
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NATIONAL MOVEMENT
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to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

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