LAMUT, Ifugao – On the wall fronting the principal’s table in Kiangan Central School is a poster which reads, “No Ifugao Child is Left Behind.”

Last Sunday, two Ifugao road runners proved it isn’t just a mere axiom… it is a warning that provincial athletes deserve equal attention to those of their city counterparts.

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Amaya Yugyog, on Feb. 7, bagged the first gold in the 2010 Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) via the 3000-meter run.

Yugyog is a freshman of the Wangwang National High School in Tinoc.

She clocked 12:54:55-minutes making her Cordilleran rivals eat dust in the sandy beach-like track oval at the Ifugao State University sports complex.

Yugyog and fellow Tinoc native Jonalyn Uybaan (13:06:60-minutes) maintained their pace ahead of other contenders as their feet dug deep for added boost in the sandy track which rendered spiked shoes useless.

Meanwhile, Sunshine Biyong of Apayao timed in third with at 13:15:31-minutes.

Like Ifugao’s “one-two” punch, Biyong likewise crossed the finish line with her shoes neatly tucked in her gym bag.

The three barefoot runners eclipsed 2009 Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Divina Kitongan of Baguio.

Meantime, as if to prove skin is better than spiked shoes, Ignacio Bas-idang of Kalinga leaped 6.01-meters to bag gold in the secondary level long jump.

The cracked and crooked runway en route a stony sand pit was likewise of no consequence to his fellow barefoot jumpers Rolly Besmilang of Mt. Province and Kelvin Enkiwe of Ifugao who place second and third, respectively.

Adidas was likewise put to shame in the female long jump event in the female division, secondary schools level.

Jemaima Santiago of Abra, Nikki Baguilat (Ifugao) took gold and silver, respectively. Mayeth Laduan of Benguet made third with her spikes functioning like ice picks on kilned clay.

It was the same story in the male’s elementary long jump division where Jazz Sed-neg (Kalinga) and Sadicu Lacaden (Ifugao) bested their rivals for a “one-two” finish.

Armando Macas of Baguio who didn’t care whether the shoes he got last Christmas would get worn out easily finished third.

Meantime, Baguio and Benguet speedsters are out to prove their shoes are worth the running as the finals for the short distance running competitions are well on their way.