MANILA -- University of the Philippines aims to secure its league-best 21st UAAP championship in men's athletics when the Season 86 edition of the competition kicks off Wednesday at the PhilSports Track Oval in Pasig City.
The championships commence with the 100 meters in the men's and boys' decathlon.
However, it is in the separate 100m event and the 800 meters later in the day where reigning MVP Alrhyan Labita and the Fighting Maroons are set to launch their three-peat bid. Last year's runners-up National University and Far Eastern University lead the charge in challenging the titleholders.
Other events in the day, such as shot put and the decathlon, are expected to go their way. Adamson University will also be on hand to compete against the three aforementioned universities.
On the other hand, University of Santo Tomas aims to build on its championship regained in Season 85 in the women's division, starting with the hammer throw.
The De La Salle University Lady Green Tracksters and the UP Fighting Maroons will try to earn points in other events such as the 100m, 800m, and 5000 meters walk to challenge the UST Female Tracksters at the top.
The NU Lady Bulldogs, led by last year's top student-athlete and reigning high jump queen Alexie Caimoso, seek to disrupt the party and secure a spot at the top this season.
The high school competition will also be a significant battleground, with Adamson attempting to maintain their long-awaited boys' title in San Marcelino with the discus throw and the 5000m walk on the day's calendar.
UST aims to continue its dominant run in the girls' division, starting with the hammer throw.
The UST Junior Male Tracksters and the UE Junior Red Warriors will compete with the Adamson Baby Falcons in the boys' side, while the UE Junior Lady Warriors and the Adamson Lady Baby Falcons will attempt to dislodge the UST Junior Female Tracksters in the girls'.
All divisions will witness competitors vying for medals in the 100m and 800m Finals to conclude the day, along with the fifth and final event of the day for the men's and boys' decathlon, the 400 meters.