Watch: Gary Martin Go 1:49 In The 800 At Upper Moreland

WILLOW GROVE, PA -- Gary Martin showed off some speed on Friday night under the lights at Upper Moreland,.

The Archbishop Wood faced off against an elite field in an Open 800 meters at the John Heins Invitational against a few PA all-time greats, and he came away with a state-leading time that, moved him up the Pennsylvania all-time rankings. Martin placed second in a time of 1:49.68. Robert Downs, a professional with Diadora, won the race in 1:48.63.

Andrew Magaha, the former PA state record holder in the 800 meters, who graduated from Upper Moreland in 2012, rabbited the field through the first 350 meters. That gave way to another former 800m PA state record in John Lewis (a 2015 Cheltenham graduate), who led the field through 400 meters in 52.96.

But then Martin went to the front right at the bell. On the backstretch, Lewis took the lead back and Downs followed him around the high schooler. Downs ultimately took over first and carried that through to the finish. Martin closed well and passed Lewis in the waning meters to take second.


Pennsylvania Boys All-Time 800m Top 10



Martin moves up to PA No. 1 and US No. 5 on the season. His 1:49.68 puts him up to PA No. 6 all-time, becoming the sixth Pennsylvania high schooler to dip under 1:50, joining Lewis and Magaha. Martin becomes the first PA boy to run sub-1:50 since Josh Hoey ran the current state record of 1:48.07 at the IAAF World U20 Championships in 2018.

It was a good show of speed for Martin, who also ran a 200m and 400m earlier in the week at a PCL meet.

It will be a relatively quick turnaround for Martin; he's entered in the 1,600 meters on Wednesday at the Explorers Invitational at LaSalle College. The field is coming together nicely, and should produce a fast race.

Watch the race above and check out the results below.

Men 800 Meter Run Open
    Name                    Year School                  Finals 
  1 Downs, Robert                Diadora                1:48.63  
        53.172 (53.172)  1:48.623 (55.451)
  2 Martin, Gary                 Final Lap              1:49.68  
        52.981 (52.981)  1:49.675 (56.694)
  3 Lewis, John                  Unattached             1:50.27  
        52.960 (52.960)  1:50.268 (57.308)
  4 Barna, Jackson               Valley Project         1:55.93  
           54.053 (54.053)        1:55.927 (1:01.874)
  5 Kisker, James                Valley Project         1:57.51  
           54.126 (54.126)        1:57.510 (1:03.384)
 -- Magaha, Andrew               Unattached                 DNF