AS THE school year comes to an end, athletes from the various provinces in the region start their build up for the upcoming 2010 Palarong Pambansa slated April in Tarlac.

Close to 470 athletes from the six provinces comprising the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are set to arrive on March 30 to the Summer Capital for their training, according to Fernando Eliponga of the Department of Education.

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The bulk of the officials and athletes who will see action in the 53rd staging of the Palaro will come from Baguio after topping the 2010 edition of the region’s athletic meet.

Baguio had a total of 800.5 points to win the title in both the secondary and elementary levels after five days of competition held in various locations in Ifugao.

Baguio’s secondary athletes took the overall crown after securing first place finishes in archery, athletics, swimming, volleyball, basketball, badminton, chess girls, boxing and football.

In the elementary level, Baguio also dominated the competition taking the title in athletics girls, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, lawn tennis boys, swimming, chess, tae kwon do, and football.

“Tuloy–tuloy yung naging training ng mga athlete natin dito sa Baguio after ng Caraa, but for the rest of the contingents, sa March 30 pa sila darating kaya dun na uumpisahan yung extensive training,” said Eliponga.

The region failed to improve its standing in last year’s Palaro, which was held in Tacloban City placing 10th overall in the standings out of 16 regions.

The elementary squad landed in 12th place after winning the championship in tae kwon do and a decent third-place finish in chess boys.

Cordillera’s secondary team secured the ninth spot after securing first place finish in tae kwon do girls, second in tae kwon do boys and fourth overall in arnis boys.

A total of 17 events have been lined up for the secondary and 14 for the primary level in the upcoming Palaro. (Roderick Osis)