Russell Richardson

Sophomore Russell Richardson took third place at the Camel's Back Race.

Courtesy Janis Dotson

The Kuna High School cross country team has two races under its belt as it cruises into mid-season in its second year competing in the 5A division.

Practices have been challenging with the poor air quality, but the runners are doing their best to keep in shape, including running indoors at the high school, when necessary.

The team started off the season with the mountainous Camel’s Back Race, where sophomore Russell Richardson took third place, and the women’s team captured a fourth place win.

The teams next participated in the Caldwell Twilight Meet, with the men’s team finishing an impressive third out of a field of 20 teams. Russell Richardson ran a personal best of 16:10 at the Caldwell meet, raising his ranking in the district to fifth, which means that he runs three consecutive miles in just over five minutes each.

Jackson Bunnell and Wyatt Mills follow, with rankings of 24th and 25th, respectively. Max Louth, Bryce Hill, Josh Monagahan and Caden Nielsen round out the top seven on the men’s varsity team.

The Richardsons are dominating Kuna cross country this year, with Russell’s sister Emma leading the women with a time of 22:05.

Cross country has always been a family sport, with sisters Abbey and Olivia Strickland both running varsity this year, and Jackson Bunnell’s freshman sister Brenya landing the seventh spot on varsity.

Other strong competitors on the women’s team are Natalie Redetzke, Jessica Erickson, Addie Richards and Dylan Bollschweiler.

“This season is shaping up well,” head coach Chuck Tookey observed. “The men’s team is strong and has a good chance to make it to the state tournament. The women’s team has some strong runners on it and should send a few to the state tournament as well.”

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