Archbishop Wood’s Gary Martin was running Friday afternoon as if he had somewhere to be as he finished his mile race at the Penn Relays more than six seconds ahead of the second-place runner. And that’s because he did have somewhere to go: the senior prom.

Martin charged around the track Friday as he set a Penn Relays record by capturing the boys’ high school mile in 4 minutes, 1.04 seconds, again falling just short of becoming the 14th high schooler to ever run a four-minute mile. He then bolted out of Franklin Field with his parents. The 18-year-old’s prom date was waiting.

“It’s crazy,” Martin said as he walked off the track. “We mapped out the route in the morning of where I’m going to go after this so we know how to get there the quickest way.”

Martin entered the fourth lap at 3:00.50 as the third lap (59.66) was his fastest of the day. The four-minute mile — a feat no Pennsylvania high schooler has ever accomplished — was in sight, but Martin just missed it.

He pulled away from C.J. Singleton — a senior from Butler High near Pittsburgh whom Martin outdueled in March for the indoor state title — and ran the last lap practically by himself. The crowd, with the urging of the stadium’s PA announcer, did its best to push Martin to the finish.

He will have another chance to run a four-minute mile on May 14 at the Philadelphia Catholic League championships.

“It was an awesome experience,” he said.

Martin’s rise to the top of the sport has been swift. He ran track as a freshman at Wood just so he could spend more time with friends. He first tried baseball and soccer but didn’t think they were the right fit. The track team, Martin said, felt like a family.

He ignored his coach’s offseason program that summer, relying strictly on the natural speed that helped him excel in CYO. But when he faded in the cross-country state championship as a sophomore, Wood coach Paul Streleckis reminded him of the packet he didn’t follow over the summer. Martin found more success in the spring and became hooked.

“That was when I realized, ‘Hey, I’m doing this without really putting any training in. If I train over the summer, I can have a lot of success,’” Martin said.

He has won four PIAA titles and won two indoor national titles last winter. Martin was recruited by a slew of high-profile colleges and will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. He has dreams of reaching the Olympics, which doesn’t feel as far-fetched as they might have been just a few years ago.

Martin has become one of the fastest runners in the country without the help of a personal trainer or even an on-campus track at school. He relies on the guidance of Streleckis, who ran track at Drexel, and the Vikings practice in the parking lot of their Warminster school or find time at tracks of nearby public schools.

He has made it work and will leave Pennsylvania as one of the state’s all-time high school runners. The only thing missing from his career accomplishments is the magical four-minute mile. Earlier this month, Martin finished the mile in 4:00.95 in a meet at La Salle College High School.

“I wanted sub-four and I just missed it,” Martin said. “I have a lot of miles left in the season, so there’s more time to get it.”

Martin left the track Friday with a watch, the traditional trophy awarded to each winner at the Penn Relays. But there wasn’t much time for Martin, who won at the Relays for the first time, to marvel at it. His tuxedo was waiting for him at the prom’s hotel. Martin’s race was over, but he wasn’t done running.

“Hopefully I’ll be ready by 6:30 for pictures,” he said.