Brafford ranks among the state's top four in both the mile and two-mile, while Sharp and Ruhnke each set school history with their most recent performances. Sharp and Ruhnke finished the mile in less than 4:40 at the Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays, the first time in school history any two runners finished at that time together, cross country Coach Jared Smith said.
"That's pretty amazing," Smith said. "The sky's the limit. They have loftier goals now. Their ultimate goal is to make it to states now."
In addition to Midland, Parkersburg and Huntington represent top boys squads battling for the team title.
On the girls side, competition will be thick with Winfield, Parkersburg, St. Albans and Hurricane all ranking among Class AAA's top 10 teams, according to www.runwv.com.
"Hurricane's got a good team," Winfield Coach David Bailey said of his competition. "There are several good kids - Parkersburg, too. We hope we can compete well there."
In sprints, Red Dragons sophomore Anacia Hines is expected to battle Emily Cole and Anika Shah, both of Winfield. Barkley Castro, of Winfield, ranks among top middledistance runners.
For long-distance events, Capital sophomore Peyton Panger will contend with Hurricane's Emily Schwendiman and Joie Johnston.
Like Parsons, Bailey said he'll approach the meet differently than normal given regionals falls five days later.
"I'm probably like everyone else, I probably won't be running a lot of the same kids the way I did in the Gazette Relays," he said, "because for the fact I'm not in favor of running this meet on Friday before we have to run our regional meet on Wednesday."