Matthew Maton ran a 3:59.38 in the mile at the Oregon Twilight Meet on Friday in Eugene. The 19-year-old high school senior became the sixth U.S. prep ever to break four minutes in the mile.
Maton, who ran 3:42.54 in the 1,500-meter (the equivalent of a 4:00 mile) at the Oregon Relays last month, went into the race with the stated goal of running under the mark.
“I knew you’re not supposed to fixate on running sub-four if you’re going to do it,” Maton told LetsRun.com, “but I would have been disappointed if I didn’t do it.”
Despite still being in high school, Maton does not currently run for his school, having quit the Summit (Oregon) team in April after a disagreement with the coaching staff. He currently trains alone and plans to run for the University of Oregon in the fall.
The first U.S. high school runner to break the four-minute barrier was Jim Ryun in 1965. Alan Webb, the current American record holder in that distance, was the fastest prep ever, with a 3:53.43 mark set in 2001. Lukas Verzbicas was the last to break four, running 3:59.71 in 2011.