While the race for the overall championship was confined to Ernakulam and Palakkad, schools from Kozhikode and Malappuram played a decisive role in the hosts’ triumph.
With the top two separated by just 17 points at the start of the day, the title hung in the balance as Palakkad’s Satheesh J and golden girl Chithra P U swept the cross country races in the morning, clinching golds in the boys and girls categories respectively.
But Ernakulam maintained their lead going into the lunch break as Anas Babu E B of St George’s cleared 4.3m in senior boys pole vault.
Athletes from Kozhikode and Malappuram produced occasional brilliance stripping Palakkad of their medal winning options. Kozhikode, who finished third behind the duo, were especially a dominant force in the girls junior and sub-junior races while Malappuram sprinters had a good showing in the boys relays.
Though the leaders and defending champions cancelled out each other on the track, it was the field events where the championship was won and lost.
After Anju Kuriakose’s gold in hammer throw on the third day, Ernakulam continued their dominance in the throwing events as GV HSS, Mathirappilly’s Jincy Benny won the junior girls javelin throw while Mar Basil’s Amal P Raghav and Sree Hari Vishnu grabbed gold and silver respectively in the junior boys shot put.
With St George’s Athira K S clearing 1.64 m in senior girls high jump and Mar Basil’s Abin B sealing the senior boys triple jump, the title was all but won with the 200m, 800m races and 4x400m relay still left.
In the competition between schools, there was no stopping St George’s HSS as they cruised to another schools title.