By John Bednarowski

APSE Second Vice President

John Canzano of the Oregonian/Oregon Live  won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Columns category for the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

Canzano won for his portfolio of five columns. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference.)

The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald placed second. Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star finished third.

Sports editors in the 75,000-175,000 category submitted 54 entries in the column writing category. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country, selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-­place vote, nine points for second and so on down to one point for a 10th­-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-­10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

The Columns category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

The top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1.  John Canzano, Oregonian/Oregon Live, 50 points (2 first-place votes)

Canzano: Bill Johnson — Olympic champion in alpine skiing — dead at 55

Canzano: NBA trade deadline brings message of meaning for Portland Trail Blazers

Canzano: In wake of Baylor mess, Mike Riley brings gang-rape survivor Brenda Tracy to Nebraska

Canzano: Still looking for a deep dive with Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich

Canzano: Opening a fresh Portland Trail Blazers season with old friends

  1. Ron Borges,  Boston Herald, 46 points (1 first-place vote)

Borges: David Ortiz explains why now is right time to retire

Borges: For Pablo Sandoval, size is part of the equation

Borges: Football a fatal attraction for Kevin Turner

Borges: Muhammad Ali was fighter till the end

Borges: Why Patriots took Michael Floyd – while 30 other teams took a pass

  1. Gregg Doyel, Indy Star, 44 points (3 first-place votes)

Doyel on wrestling finals: None of these guys lost

Doyel: Little Em left big impact on Butler

Doyel: Grayson Allen, you have to change

Doyel: NFL fans deserve better

Doyel: Chuck Pagano saves his job … and Ryan Grigson’s

  1. John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press 36 points

Shipley: Tracy Claeys has to go; this isn’t about X’s and O’s
Shipley: Time for Gophers to send a real message

Shipley: Take a lesson, Timberwolves, and get serious on defense

Shipley: U.S. Bank Stadium ugly on the outside, awesome on the inside

Shipley: Wild want a medal for making postseason – fans want more

  1. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune 34 points

Miller: Chargers Ingram, Allen fumble with fans

Miller: Matt Bush out of prison, back on the mound

Miller: Padres shouldn’t induct Caminiti into Hall

Miller: Preller problems stain, stagger Padres

Miller: Dick Enberg hears the beauty in landmark career’s final notes

  1. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald 31 points

Chatelain: When mic cuts out during national anthem, Swim Trials crowd creates magical moment

Mad Chatter: The end of Kobe and Tiger is really the end of Air Jordan; Harbaugh fires back; Drew Ott denied

Chatelain: In final days, Husker family Milt Tenopir helped build was there to see him home

Chatelain: Harder throwers, bigger swings at flat-seamed ball helping pile up Ks

Chatelain: Riley’s revival comes off the tracks in one of program’s worst defeats

  1. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times 28 points
    Andrew Andrews vs. Kelsey Plum: Who wins when Washington Huskies stars take their best shots?

Did LeBron James go too far? Here’s a call for honest discussions

Richard Sherman meltdown reflects poorly on him and Seahawks

Oklahoma City’s pain in losing Kevin Durant is Seattle’s joy

U.S. Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 is ridiculously restrictive on athlete’s sponsors

  1. Joe Rexrode, The Tennessean 27 points

Rexrode: Coach Cat is gone, but the legend and lessons remain

Rexrode: Predators’ win was epic, exhausting, everything

Rexrode: It’s time to believe in Derek Mason, question Butch Jones

Rexrode: University of Tennessee has settled but can’t be silent

Rexrode: ‘We’re not those Titans anymore,’ owner says after epic win

T-9. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune 17 points

No Hope? U.S. had its chance

The Olympics, through a mother’s lens

The uneasy legacy of the Rio Olympics

The real reason Beth Burns was fired at SDSU

Here’s a suggestion for Spanos: Just go

T-9. Tim Sullivan, Louisville Courier-Journal 17 points

Sullivan | Jurich tone-deaf to U of L cheating

Sullivan | Delay, drinking complicate Hornung’s case

Sullivan | The Greatest, and much more

Sullivan I LouCity coach a man of principle – and pranks

Sullivan | In death, Ali still larger than life