Todd Kessler and Karen Terry of Newport News do just about everything together.
They coach together, train together, race together and are in a relationship.
All that togetherness has led to a big jump in their running success. In 2010 they both finished fourth in the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix season-long points race. Now fast-forward to Sunday; they were honored as the 2011 Grand Prix champions at the CRR awards banquet in Williamsburg.
Kessler, the head cross-country coach at Smithfield High School, and Terry, his assistant, both prevailed in close races — both winning by three points.
Even though there were 17 CRR races during the season, only the 10-best races for each runner counted in the scoring to determine the GP champions.
Kessler, 29, finished with 83 top-10 points to beat Daniel Shaye, 42, of Williamsburg. Terry, 23, piled up 99 out of a possible 100 points to edge two-time defending champion Jennifer Quarles of Williamsburg.
For all of their races, Quarles accumulated a CRR season record of 122 points in 13 races and Terry had 114 in 12 events.
Terry, who ran track and cross country in high school, dominated the winner's circle. In her 12 races, the 2007 Smithfield graduate came away the women's champ nine times. This included victories in her last seven races — all 5ks.
She set course records of 19:33 in the Military "Red, White, and Blue" race and in the season-ending Sentara Sleighbell 5K in 18:22. She also set six age-group records.
"I was definitely a lot more competitive this year," Terry said. "Harder workouts and running with the (high school) cross-country team really helped a lot."
Quarles, 39, had another outstanding year with wins at the First Colony Run for Shelter 5K, Run the D.O.G. Street 5K, Icelandic Seafood Fest 8K, Hare and Tortoise 8K, the Crapolfest 5K in a course-record 18:09, and the Run for the Breast 10K.
The six-time GP champ also finished as the runner-up in six events and set six age-group records.
Kessler placed among the top three in eight of his 13 races, including wins at the First Colony 5K (17:19) and the Mental Health 5K (17:12). He also picked up points by winning his 25-29 age group five times and setting an age-group record of 29:03 in the Hare and Tortoise 8K.
Kessler said staying healthy, being patient with his training during some up-and-down times, and maintaining a good attitude contributed to his success.
Shaye, a longtime member of the CRR, enjoyed his best GP season. The 42-year-old chiropractor was No. 1 overall at the Hare and Tortoise 8K and Crapolfest 5K. He also placed second twice, third three times, and won his 40-44 age group seven times.
Greg Dawson, 46, of Williamsburg and Elizabeth Ransom, 39, of Toano finished third in the GP standings in their respective divisions.
Dawson scored 66 points in 14 races, topped by runner-up honors in the Crapolfest 5K in 17:10 and notching three age-group records.
In her 10 races, Ransom earned 79 points, highlighted by runner-up finishes in the Run the Dog 5K, Warhill 5K, and the Military "Red, White, and Blue" 5K.
The Williamsburg duo of Steve Menzies, 47, and Connie Glueck, 47, finished as the masters champions. Menzies won his age group seven times and Glueck four times. She was also second overall among women at the Crapolfest 5K in 19:49.
John Piggott of Williamsburg, coming off a seven-week layoff, launched his 2012 season with a victory in the masters division at Sunday's Miami Marathon.
The Lafayette High track and cross-country coach, came across the finish line in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 9 seconds. Piggott placed 11th overall among close to 7,000 competitors.
Amanda Carner and Isabel Marstellar each won five events in leading the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins to an impressive showing at the Tidewater Aquatic Club's A/BB/B/C Winter Blast Jan. 20-22 at Old Dominion University.
Carner, a Menchville High School senior, raced to wins in the 200-yard individual medley, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, and the 200 and 400 individual medley in the 15-and-over division.
Marstellar took firsts in the 8-and-under class in the 50 back, 50 and 100 freestyle, and the 50 and 100 breaststroke.
Preston Duncan also excelled in the 8U age group with wins in the 50 fly, 50 back, 100 IM, and 100 free.
Triple winners included Melissa Zhu (11-12s) in the 50 fly, 100 IM and 200 free, and Jordan Duncan (11-12s) in the 100 free, 50 breast and 100 breast.
Wade Traynham, a longtime softball coach at Phoebus High School, will receive the Milestone Award at the Peninsula Sports Club's Spring Coaches Night on Wednesday at the Knights of Columbus facility at 12742 Nettles Drive.
A social begins at 6 p.m., the program begins at 6:45.
Christopher Newport University baseball coach John Harvell is the guest speaker.
There is no charge for PSC members, head coaches, or athletic directors. Cost for non-members and guests is $15 each.
Those attending are asked to RSVP by today. For more information, contact Colleen Messier at 595-0048.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun