When one thinks of the all-time great high school coaches of cross-country and track and field in Chautauqua County, Fredonia Central’s Fred Larson is on that short list. The records he established as the coach of those two sports from 1966 to his retirement in 1995 may never be equaled. Larson’s stellar career resulted in his 2023 induction into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Fred Larson, affectionately known as “Ferd,” was born in Crosby, Pa., in 1940. As a school boy runner he was the Pennsylvania one-mile state champion in both 1957 and 1958. He also finished second in the state in the half-mile his senior year.
After his graduation from Smethport High in 1958, Larson attended Penn State University on an athletic scholarship graduating in 1962.