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
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 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 to record a sub-4:30 Mile (4:27.52 PR) and a sub-2:30 marathon (2:27:35 PR)! The only two other Americans in this exclusive club are: Jordan Hasay and Molly Huddle.