Larry Brown headed to Philadelphia from Seattle as a ranked tennis player.  But after a brief stint on the men’s freshman tennis team at Penn, he headed out to the track and began his running career with gusto under the tutelage of fellow Hall of Fame inductee Lawson Robertson, who insisted that Brown concentrate solely on his track endeavors.


The Penn track program has always been one of heralded accomplishment, and for the Class of 1922, it was no different.  Brown’s class of runners was like none other at that time, as each year it made bigger strides toward greatness in the track world.


Brown captained the freshman team in 1918, making a name for himself early and often.  In 1919, Brown’s sophomore campaign was one of the greatest in Penn track history.  In the indoor season, his mile relay team won three consecutive championships at the Millrose, the New York Athletic Club and the Johns Hopkins Games.  Brown came in a close second at the National Junior Championships in the 1000-yard run and the Quakers took second place overall.  The outdoor season proved to be even more successful.  The Penn Relay Carnival was in full swing and brown and his Red and Blue teammates won the sprint medley relay and the mile relay.  Penn won the Intercollegiate that year in a hotly contested meet, as the Quakers were not sure of their championship until after the final event.  Brown represented Penn well by taking second in the mile and finishing fifth in the half-mile.


The fall of 1920 found most of the squad back and success seemed imminent. The indoor season was productive from the start as Brown’s mile relay team won four consecutive meets and broke the record or that distance at the University of Illinois games.  Brown opened the outdoor season by winning the mile race against Harvard to help Penn to a 69.3-47.7 win.  The Quakers went on to win the sprint medley relay at the 1921 Penn Relays, while also taking second in the mile relay and finishing third in the distance medley relay and the two-mile relay, with both of the latter being led by Brown.


The spring of 1921 continued with three dual meets against Dartmouth, Columbia, and Cornell.  Brown led the Quakers in their wins over Dartmouth and Columbia.  Unfortunately, Penn did not repeat its intercollegiate performance of the previous year and could only muster a fourth-place finish as Brown finished second in the mile.


Despite its lack of an outstanding performance at the Intercollegiates, Brown and other members of his team placed themselves in pretty important company.  Representing the Benjamin Franklin Post of the American Legion called the University Post, Brown ran in a special mile-relay event in the American Legion Meet at Franklin Field on June 8, and broke the world record in the mile.  He then turned around and broke the world record in the 1,000-yard run, and uncommon event, but non-the-less, a recognized record-holder.


Brown was elected captain of the 1921-22 Penn track team and looked to finish his collegiate career on top.  After breaking world records the previous summer though, a little let down was felt in the beginning of the indoor season.  Brown ran anchor on the mile relay team that won the championship at the Brooklyn College games, and the night following took a third-place finish at the Millrose Games. Brown came third at Millrose in the 2/3 mile run. But the Quakers rebounded at the University of Illinois Relay Championships where Brown led the team to the collegiate indoor record in the two-mile relay.  The team repeated its god work at the Indoor Intercollegiate when it broke the World Record in the same event and Penn finished third overall. 


Brown led the Quakers into the annual Penn Relay Carnival in the spring of 1922 and led them out with another World Record, this time in the two-mile relay, with a time of 7:49.40.  Brown went on to capture the IC4A Championship in the 800 and finished second in the event at the NCAAs.  That year, Brown was among the top 10 fastest half milers in the world.


Brown continued his track career when he was invited to participate at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris as part of the 4X400 relay team.  Later on, Brown posed for the sculptor, R. Tait McKenzie, when he was rendering the new Relay Carnival medal.  Brown now joins two other athletes on that sculpture in the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame, George Orton and Ted Meredith. Brown also continued his tennis career until the ripe age of 89.