No longer is he the best American distance runner who has never qualified for the Olympics or track and field world championships.

North Yarmouth native Ben True finished second to seven-time national champ Galen Rupp in the men’s 10,000-meter race Thursday night at the U.S. championships in Eugene, Oregon. Both Rupp and True, along with third-place finisher Hassan Mead, earned spots on the U.S. team that will compete in the world championships Aug. 22-30 in Beijing, China.

“I’m happy to make my first worlds team,” True said after the race, which took place under unusually warm conditions Thursday night at Hayward Field. “We’ll see if I can come back and win the 5K, which was my focus all along. But this heat took a lot out of me. So we’ll see what happens.”

True is scheduled to run the 5,000 meters Sunday morning (1:45 p.m. EDT). The race was moved from its original time slot of early afternoon because of expected high temperatures.

True finished three seconds behind Rupp with a time of 28 minutes, 14.26 seconds, with Mead another two seconds behind. The qualifying standard for the world championships is 27:45 – a time True beat by a little over a second in early May at the Payton Jordan Invitational in California.

“I did the best I could, but I was drained at the end there,” True said after Thursday night’s race. “I was hurting. But I got second, so I can’t complain.”

A graduate of Greely High and Dartmouth College, True flirted with making the Olympics as a Nordic skier before turning his full attention to running. Now 29, he is enjoying his best season of road racing, setting an American record at the BAA 5K in Boston and winning a third straight Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville as well as the Healthy Kidney 10K in New York City.

Two years ago, True placed fourth in both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the U.S. championships in Des Moines, Iowa, narrowly missing a trip to the world championships. In 2012, a case of Lyme disease derailed his hopes of making the London Olympics.

“I’m just so happy to be able to make it there,” True said after qualifying Thursday night. “Still, I don’t know about this distance. I’d like to have half the distance.”

On Sunday, he’ll have that opportunity. He’s seeded third in the 5,000, behind only Rupp and Mead.

“He ran well and did what he needed to do to get a spot on that team,” said True’s coach, Tim Broe, on Friday. “Now he can focus on the 5K and try to do some damage.”

Broe said True seemed satisfied with his second-place finish, but not completely.

“He’s a competitive guy,” Broe said. “He was hoping to win.”