4:00.95! Gary Martin Inches Closer To Sub-4

WYNDMOOR, PA -- Gary Martin hasn't been wasting much time getting to some fast times this outdoor season, and on Wednesday afternoon, the Archbishop Wood senior nearly took down a huge barrier.

Martin went 4:00.95 for a full mile at the Explorers Invitational at LaSalle College High School, coming less than a second away from eclipsing the four minute barrier, something only 11 high schoolers have ever done. Martin clocked an F.A.T. split of 3:59.55 for 1,600 meters.

The sub-4 barrier didn't happen, but there was little discouragement coming from the University of Virginia signee after the race.

"Obviously at this point, I think I'd be lying if I said I didn't have sub-4 on the mind for most miles I've ran," Martin said. "The goal coming in was definitely to try and break four, but I knew it would be difficult this early in the season and alone on a track."

For Martin, Wednesday's time breaks his own Pennsylvania state records in the mile and 1,600 meters, which were set the John Hay Distance Festival last year. Both times are current US No. 2 times outdoors, trailing just Leo Young of Newbury Park (CA), who ran 3:59.32 for 1,600 meters and 4:00.77 for the mile in March.

Martin moves up to 17th all-time in the mile in U.S. high school history, per Jack Shepard.



Martin led wire-to-wire in an all-high school race that featured a few of Pennsylvania and New Jersey's top milers. Jackson Barna of Ridge (NJ) took second in 4:09.53. Quinn Worrell of Saint Joseph's Prep was third in 4:10.24, and Greencastle-Antrim's Weber Long was fourth in 4:12.84.

With no rabbit in the field, Martin went right to the front from the gun. He ran even F.A.T. splits for each quarter of 60.24, 60.44, 60.42 before a 59.84 on his last lap.

"It played out pretty much as I expected it to," he said. "I wanted to prove I could do it without a pacer, and just kind of hammered away on my own. I came through right where I wanted to be."

Martin came through the 800m in 2:00-high and the 1,200m in 3:01 -- right on his pre-race plan. He hoped to close in 57 or 58 seconds for the last 400 meters, which would have given him a sub-4.

"Just a little off -- 59.8," he said " So I think with some competition and another race, I think I get it, but I'm very happy with where I'm at fitness-wise and I know I'm knocking on the door of it, so I couldn't be happier."

Martin wasn't done for the day after the mile, though. He returned about an hour later to anchor Wood's 4x400 meter relay to a come-from-behind victory with Martin supplying a 49.49 F.A.T split to close out his day.

The next big individual race for Martin will be the Penn Relays invitational mile, where he was just announced as an entry. Perhaps in a field that will include some good competition, Martin can look to become the first Pennsylvania high schooler to ever break four minutes in the mile.

Martin likes his chances.

Watch the race above and check out a post-race interview with Martin below.