The Kuna varsity runners traveled to Portland, Oregon to run in the Nike XC Race, which attracts teams from all over the West.

The Kuna men’s team placed a respectable ninth out of 30 teams in the 5,000 meter Division One varsity race. Russell Richardson placed fourth, with a time of 16:08. Jackson Bunnell ran a 16:40, ending in 33rd place.

The Kuna women’s team placed 10th out of 26 teams, with Natalie Redetzke finishing as the highest-placing Kuna runner in 33rd place with a time of 20:38, and Russell’s sister Emma Richardson coming in 61st, with a time of 21:21.

Kuna hosted the Gib Floyd Invitational at the Falconcrest Sod Farm on Oct. 7. Gib Floyd was the first cross country coach at Kuna. Floyd set up the initial cross country team during the time period when cross country was first recognized as a sanctioned high school sport in 1977. He coached cross country until the late 1980s, with his women’s varsity team winning Kuna’s only state cross country team title.

At this year’s Gib Floyd meet, freshman Ryver Mills made a great showing in the men’s JV race, finishing seventh with a time of 18:31. In the men’s varsity race, Russell Richardson had an easy win over second-place Meridian High School runner Connor Refaey: Russell ran a 16:56 over Connor’s 17:02. Jackson Bunnell placed fourth, at 17:17; Max Louth came in fifth, at 17:19; Ryver’s brother Wyatt Mills got sixth, at 17:34; Bryce Hill was in eighth place, at 17:51; Caden Nielsen placed 10th, at 17:59; and Joshua Monaghan ended up in 12th, at 18:17.

Cross country meet scoring is like golf: The lowest score wins — the strong effort by the Kuna men placing between the first and 12th places earned them first place as a team.

In the women’s varsity race, sophomore Natalie Redetzke continued her strong season, finishing ninth with a 20:39. Emma Richardson finished 12th at 21:22, followed closely by Abbey Strickland, with a 21:50; Brenya Bunnell, at 22:39, Jessica Erickson, with a 22:40, and Abbey’s sister Olivia Strickland, at 22:41. Gemma LaVergne of Emmett captured first place with a time of 18:34.

The Kuna men’s and women’s teams finished first out of nine teams and second out of seven teams, respectively, at the Bugtown Canyon County Championships Meet, hosted by the Treasure Valley’s new high school, Ridgevue, in Nampa.

Russell Richardson achieved a new personal record, running the 5K distance in 15:44, which means he ran each mile in just under five minutes. Natalie Redetzke had a personal best, coming in fourth, with a time of 20:09, with Emma Richardson getting seventh, with a personal record of 20:47.

Bugtown was a great race with 42 of Kuna’s 48 runners recording a personal record or season record.

The teams have now finished their regular season and ran in the 5A District III Championships Friday, Oct. 20, at Eagle Island. Coach Tookey has been pleased with the progress of the teams over the season. The countless miles of running up and down “The Butte” on Swan Falls Road has paid off.

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