(Story courtesy of Southwestern University)
AUSTIN, Texas - Southwestern Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach and former Olympian Francie Larrieu Smith was inducted into the Running Specialty Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon.
Larrieu Smith accepted her induction into the Hall of Fame at The Running Event 2012. Presented by the IRRA, the Hall of Fame honors those who helped develop the specialty running business, and Larrieu Smith is certainly one of those individuals.
Larrieu Smith has had one of the longest distance running careers, spanning from the 1972 Olympics as a 19 year old running the 1500 meters when it was the longest distance race for women, and again in the 1976 Olympics. She also qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics but did not participate due to the boycott.
Her final appearance was finishing 12th in the marathon in Barcelona 1992, where as the elder stateswoman of American Track and Field at age 39 she was selected to be the flagbearer in the opening ceremonies. In 1988 at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, Larrieu Smith earned her highest finish ever, finishing 5th in the 10,000m with a time of 31:35.52.
This is Larrieu Smith's 15th season at Southwestern where her teams have finished as high as 4th in the conference in cross country and 5th in track & field. She has taken two athletes to the NCAA Cross Country Championships and coached seven athletes and three relay teams to SCAC Championship titles.