Palakkad, thanks to the internecine bickering in the Ernakulam camp, continued in the lead for the overall championship trophy at the end of day three in the 56th State schools athletic meet at the University stadium here on Thursday.

With 70 out of the total 95 events completed, Palakkad with a haul of 25 gold, 22 silver and 17 bronze medals, had a tally of 218 points, holding a 23-point lead over the champion side of the last eight years on the trot.

Ernakulam (195) was followed by Kozhikode in the third spot with 56 points and Thiruvananthapuram (40).

However, in the race for the Best School award, Kothamangalam giant St. George Higher Secondary School and Mar Basil Higher Secondary School, both representing Ernakulam, surged ahead of overnight leader HS Parli. St. George attempting to win back the award after having lost it to arch-rival Mar Basil last year in Kochi had 88 points against its name at the end of the third day. Mar Basil stood second with 67 points, holding a three-point lead over HS Parli (64).

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