Richard Goodman, 17, finished a close second in the UK Under 20 Inter-counties Cross country Championships in Birmingham.
For the second time in a fortnight he and Jonny Hay, 19, fought a close duel as they reinforced their positions as the best young middle-distance runners in the country.
"I realised that Jonny would have the edge in a final sprint as my winter training has been endurance-based, so I tried to make it a test of strength," Goodman said. "I led almost throughout but he stayed with me and I could not match his final sprint. But I am pleased with my race and I achieved my objective of securing a place on the team for the World Championships next weekend."
Sam Shindler-Glass ran his best race of the season to finish 24th in the Under 15 event. Nick Davis, 17, came fifth in the Under 20 400m in the Middlesex Indoor Championships.