I’m a 75-year-old who still loves track and field. My love affair with the sport started in 1967.

My Lincoln Junior High team was competing at the Portland Expo, in the oldest consecutive meet in the U.S.

Lyman Moore was ahead by a point going into the final relay. Our “anchor,” Bobby Reno, got the final pass. He was nearly 40 yards behind and, through an effort that still leaves me short of breath, caught the Moore runner and lunged across the finish. We won by a point!

I raced across the track, landed on poor Bobby, then, I swear, half the Expo landed on both of us! What a celebration that was! I was hooked.

The race and celebration were on the TV news. Wow!

From 1967 to 1975, it was common to have stories about weekly meets, with statistics, in the Press Herald and Evening Express. Legendary sportswriter Dick Doyle did feature stories like the one on Ed Bogdanovich. Eddie set 14 records at Lincoln and held the high school shot put record for 40 years.

At the end of practice one recent Friday (I’m still coaching!), a 12-year-old girl said: “Coach, track is a great sport. Lots of kids love to run, jump and throw. Why does the newspaper ignore us?”

The Feb. 11 Telegram sports section is a good example. For the SMAA meet, two photos and no statistics! The swim meet had stats and a story three times larger than track. Girls’ hockey and cheerleading got big stories. Wrestling got a whole page!

Ask Scarborough, Cheverus, Thornton Academy and Deering parents about their kids. Ask Joan Benoit. Ask NCAA javelin champ Nick Guerrette. How about a Maine jumper ranked No. 1 in the NCAA? South Portland’s great thrower.

More kids participate in this sport than any other sport in Maine, and you ignore it!

I’m representing a 12-year-old runner when I ask: Why?

James “Buzz” Maloney

South Portland