"I was ranked third but I wasn't going to let that stop me," Brafford said. "I was going to go for second and in my mind that's a win when you're going against an Olympian like [Burcham]."
With Saturday's effort, Brafford may enter next season as the favorite to succeed Burcham as the AAA champ.
Also earning all-state honors with top-10 finishes were Jefferson's Andrew Milliron (4th), Preston's Brady Born (5th), Oak Hill's Wes Stowers (6th), Greenbrier East's Levi Snedegar (7th), University's Andrew Paladino (8th) and Huntington's Jack McGee (9th).
As impressive as Midland's team effort was, the Morgantown girls team exceeded that lofty statement by clearing second-place University by a whopping 60 points.
The Mohigans placed all five of their runners in the top 10, led by Brynn Harshbarger's second-place finish. Allison Lynch (6th), Andrea Pettit (7th), Victoria Cooke (9th) and Sydney Pineault (10th) rounded out Morgantown's scoring runners.
"It's really what they've done since last year," Morgantown coach Mike Ryan said. "Those girls have worked hard since June. It's basically been 20 weeks of hard training as a group and it paid off today. Our goal coming in was probably a little greedy but I wanted to get five in the top 10. We just made that so I'm happy with the overall finishes throughout."
University's Amelia Paladino came home with the individual win with a time of 17:47.32, over 36 seconds clear of Harshbarger.
"I just knew that no matter what I needed to see myself in first, and whatever it took to get there is what I was going to give," Paladino said. "I was thinking, 'Melly, God made you strong enough for this and fast enough for this,' and I've trained."
Capital's Peyton Panger was the highest local finisher, coming in eighth, while the Hurricane girls team ended the day in third place.
Preston's Kaitlyn Workman (4th) and Jefferson's Abby Colbert (5th) also earned all-state honors.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.