Gary Martin, Connor Burns Break 4 Minutes At FOM

It was a night for the dramatic at the Festival of Miles in St. Louis, Missouri on Wednesday. 

Two high school athletes broke four minutes in the same race, which generated its own kind of history -- not to mention a new dynamic over a single high school season. 

Both Gary Martin, the distinguished miler from Archbishop Wood (PA), and Connor Burns, the junior from Southern Boone (MO) High School -- and the son of former Missouri coach Marc Burns -- eclipsed four minutes in the mile on Wednesday in the men's professional field, with Martin crossing in 3:57.89, while Burns followed in 3:58.83. 

The performance marked the first time in high school history that two athletes had broken four minutes in the same race. It also marked the first time in history that a total of three boys had eclipsed that mark over a single season. 

Burns, who ran the seventh-fastest time in history, also joined the sub-4 club for the first time, becoming the 15th high schooler all-time to break the mark. His time also shattered the second-fast junior time recorded since Jim Ryun (3:59.0). On Saturday, Rocky Hansen's time of 4:00.76, which came at the RunningLane Track Championships, was the No. 2 performance in class history. 

The race produced Martin's second sub-4 of the season, coming just weeks after his groundbreaking time of 3:57.98 at the Philadelphia Catholic League, and it shaved a total of 0.09 seconds off of his career PB in the process. 

Martin joined Newbury Park's Colin Sahlman as the second athlete to break four minutes across the 2022 season, though he's the only to do it twice over the spring season. 

Burns, meanwhile, ran a new overall Missouri state record, surpassing his former overall best of 4:02.96, which came in February at the Iowa State Classic. 

Burns last ran an outdoor mile back in July of 2021, though he produced a Missouri Class 3 1,600m runner-up this past weekend in 4:06.49 and earned a title in the 3,200m. 

Martin won both the 800m and 1,600m this past week at the PIAA Class AAA Championships in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.