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, Sunnyvale, CA '70
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, an indoor world record of 4:29.0 on February 15, 1975 in San Diego.
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 and '79-80, the AAU indoor Mile champion in 1975, '77-79 and the AIAW 1 Mile champion in 1974.
In March 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 indoor Mile & 1500m world record four times (the most by any gender). To cap her decorated career, she was selected as the 1992 U.S. Olympic team flag bearer for the opening ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, the host city of the Summer Games.
Larrieu Smith was the Head Men's & Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX; she retired in May 2018.
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.
FUN FACT III: Larrieu was the first American woman (and second overall) to record a sub-4:30 Mile (4:27.52 PR) and a sub-2:30 marathon (2:27:35 PR)! The three other Americans in this exclusive club are: Molly Huddle, Jordan Hasay and Sara Vaughn.