New Mexico Track & Field Remembers Former NCAA Champion Larry Kennedy
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/20/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 20, 2005

Larry Kennedy, who won the discus for the University of New Mexico at the 1964 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, passed away on Oct. 8 in Santa Rosa, Calif. at the age of 63. Kennedy is survived by his wife of 24 years, Rebecca, and daughters Allison and Denise.

Kennedy, then a junior at UNM, won the national title at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. with a school record-setting throw of 185 feet, 2 1/2 inches. His performance helped the New Mexico men finished tied for 18th at the `64 meet with a score of 10 points.

Earlier in the year, Kennedy captured the Western Athletic Conference discus crown with a throw of 178 feet, 8 1/2 inches as the Lobos won their first of four consecutive WAC championships.

Kennedy was a key figure on what was arguably the greatest team ever assembled at UNM in 1965. The '65 Lobos won every dual meet that spring, captured their second WAC title and finished a program-best fifth, just seven points out of first, at the NCAA Championships in Berkley, Calif.

The Menlo Park, Calif. native finished his UNM career as the school record holder in both the shot put and discus throw. His shot put record of 58 feet, 10 inches, which he set during the Lobos' memorable dual-meet victory over USC at University Stadium in 1965, stood for 21 years.

He is still one of just five New Mexico men ever to win a national outdoor title and the only discus champion in program history.

"He was a great one," said current UNM head coach Matt Henry. "I remember raking the pits over there at University Stadium when I was a little kid and they used to have to chase us out of there when he would start warming up. We thought we were safe, but that discus would fly so far when he threw it, it would nearly hit us."