I was one year removed from high school, standing at the far side of the Westminster High School track. A low wire gate was the only thing separating me from the outside lane. It was 1980, and local tracks were still untouched by the metric system. One lap was 440 yards or exactly one-quarter of a mile.
On the other side of the track, runners lined up for the Tri-State Conference mile. I was there to watch.