UCLA’s Bob Larsen, John Godina elected to U.S. track hall of fame

Ben Larsen, John Godina
UCLA Track and Field Coach Bob Larsen, left, who led his men’s team to two NCAA outdoor titles and former Bruins shot-putter John Godina, a two-time Olympic medalist and three-time world champion, will be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times / Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Bob Larsen, who coached UCLA’s men’s track team to two NCAA outdoor titles and guided Bruins alumnus Meb Keflezighi to a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic marathon, and shot putter John Godina, a two-time Olympic medalist and three-time world champion who competed under Larsen at UCLA, were elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

The honors were announced Wednesday by USA Track and Field, the sport’s national governing body. Their induction will take place Dec. 7 in Indianapolis at USATF’s Jesse Owens Hall of  Fame banquet.

Here’s a link to USA Track and Field’s full announcement.

The induction class, the 40th, also includes Atlanta Olympic triple-jump gold medalist Kenny  Harrison and, in the veterans’ category of athletes who have been retired 25 years or more, sprinter Steve Williams and high jumper Eleanor Montgomery.


Larsen also coached Keflezighi to victory in the New York City Marathon in 2009 and at the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials. Keflezighi finished fourth in the marathon at the London Games.

Larsen and fellow coach Joe Vigil were instrumental in promoting and developing distance running at the Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes.

They founded the group in 2001 and their runners produced impressive results. Larsen will be featured in a film that’s due to be released next spring.

Godina won five individual NCAA titles at UCLA and went on to win a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and bronze four years later in Sydney, Australia. He retired from competition in 2008.



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