Willie Smith
Class of 1997

Category: Track

Willie Smith is a transplanted New Yorker who was the 1974 National High School Athlete of the Year at Uniondale High School on Long Island. He came to Auburn University, and , along with fellow Auburn teammate Harvey Glance, he earned a spot representing the U.S. in track and field at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He was a two-time NCAA 400-meter champion (1977 and 1978), and in 1978 earned Auburn University's top honor as Athlete of the Year. After graduation, he won the American 400- meter championship (1979, 1980) the world championship as a member of 4x400-meter relay team (1979-81). His hopes of an Olympic Gold Medal were ruined in 1980 when, after making the U.S. Team, sat out the competition when the U.S. boycotted the Games. He did get his Gold in 1984, however, on the 4x400 winning relay team. At age 40, he competed in a collegiate meet, won his heat and finished sixth overall. He set a world 400-meter masters' record in 1996.

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