Monday, March 30, 2020

Fremont of Sunnyvale 1970 grad Francie Larrieu Smith inducted into National HS T&F Hall of Fame

Francie Larrieu Smith, Fremont HS (Sunnyvale) '70 grad was inducted into the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame on March 12th (2020 was the 3rd class inducted into that HOF). One of the most talented high school runners in history, Larrieu still holds the fastest 1500m time by a CCS athlete as she tied the American record at that distance with her 4:16.8 effort following her junior year. That converts to about 4:35.7 for 1600m. You can read about that race at this LINK in her letter to CCS historian Hank Lawson. Larrieu also had a best of 2:05.9 in the 800m and her 1500m time stood as the California record until it was surpassed by Jordan Hasay in 2008 (4:14.50). When Larrieu was in high school, she competed for the Santa Clara Valley Track Club and then the San Jose Cindergals since Cross Country and Track and Field were not options for girls at that time. She competed against boys during her first two years of high school although was not considered an official competitor.

Following HS, Larrieu trained with the UCLA team although she did not receive a scholarship despite being a national caliber runner. She went on to qualify for five Olympic teams (1972, 1976, 1980, 1988 and 1992). Her best finish was a 5th place in the 1988 Olympics 10000m race and was the flag bearer for the US team in 1992 as she competed in the marathon. Her older brother Ron ran for Palo Alto HS and was the state champion in the mile in 1956 with a time of 4:20.1. He competed in the 10000 meters in 1964 which was the same year that Billy Mills was the improbably gold medalist. Ron finished in 24th in that race.

You can check out the rest of the HOF inductees at this LINK

You can also check out a five-part interview with Francie below by Southwestern University where she was a long time coach.


No comments:

Popular Posts