Lachlan Wellington delivered a superbly-timed finishing burst to see off big rival Zak Mahamed in an epic Hampshire Schools Track & Field Championships battle.
It was a day of top performances at the Mountbatten Centre track.
The pressure was on to impress with places in the Hampshire team for the English Schools Championships hotly contested.
City of Portsmouth’s Wellington has now been selected for the team.
He’ll be joined by the likes of Josie Czura, Leslie Parkes, Heather Cubbage, Gaia Osborne, Serena Vincent and Tom Farres, who are also selected.
Wellington saw off his great friend, Mahamed, from Southampton, in what was an epic 1,500m contest.
It was a hard-fought duel between two England internationalsVince Stamp
It all came down to the final few metres with Cams Hill School pupil Wellington nudging ahead to take the gold medal in a time of 4min 20.3sec.
Mahamed missed out by just 0.2sec as he had to settle for silver.
Wellington’s City of Portsmouth club-mate Jacob O’Hara continued his excellent form as he took the bronze in 4.27.3.
The race had everyone transfixed as the talented youngsters sped around the final 500m after a slow, tactical start.
City coach Vince Stamp said: ‘It was a classic race. It had everyone on their feet. It lived up to its billing.
‘It was a hard-fought duel between two England internationals.
‘We planned for Lachlan to attack with 500m to go and he did exactly that.
‘Zak came back at him and with 150m to go Lachlan started to kick, Zak kicked, and Lachlan kicked again.
‘They were side-by-side with 60m to go before Lachlan edged in front and got the win by two 10ths of a second.
‘The final 500m was completed in around 78.5 to 79 seconds.’
Czura recorded a time of 4.51.6 to win the junior girls’ 1,500m.
Havant’s Tom Miller, representing Portsmouth, doubled up in the inter boys age group, winning the 100m hurdles in 13.0 and the 400m hurdles (57.5).
Farres won the senior pole vault for South East Hants with a 4.20m clearance, while Katie Yorke won the inter girls’ hammer (39.31m) for Gosport & Fareham.
Gosport & Fareham’s Robert Pattison won the junior discus with a throw of 35.05m and Tom MacSwayne, representing Eastleigh & Winchester, was second in the senior boys’ 1,500m (4.07.0).
In the junior age group Kameron Duxbury, South East Hants, finished second in the javelin (39.48m), Lorna Dockerill, Gosport & Fareham, crossed the line second in the 100m (12.9) and Anya Pigden, South East Hants, took second in the 800m (2.33.9)
Gosport & Fareham’s Hollie Thurgood was second in the 75m hurdles (12.2) while Serena Vincent, Southampton, finished second in the shot (11.04m) and Portsmouth’s Heather Cubbage was second in the discus (30.35m).
Elizabeth Rose, representing South East Hants, secured second place in the inter girls’ 3,000m with a time of 10.56.7.
The Schools Inter-Counties match takes place in Kent on Saturday, with City’s Bobbie Davies and Olivia Wiseman, who runs for Sussex, among those in with a chance to seal their places in the English Schools Championships.
Pattison, Rose and Pigden are also in the frame for selection and will be representing Hampshire, along with the likes of Czura and Wellington, in Saturday’s match.
Harrison Pocock shines in the South of England under-20s - full report see in The News on Friday.