Wilson Alexander of the Clarion-Ledger won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Feature Story for the C Division.

Alexander finished just ahead of runners-up Andrew John of the Desert Sun and Mike DeFabo of the Anderson Herald-Bulletin.

Sports editors in the C Division submitted 72 feature story entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Todd M. Adams and fellow APSE officers John Bednarowski, Lisa Wilson and Dan Spears prepared entries, which included online links to stories for the first time this year.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Orlando, 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.

Alexander will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta on June 19. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

Feature stories were required to be one single article, not a series, and could not include sidebars. Judges were instructed to emphasize human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting.

The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries..

1. Wilson Alexander, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), 54 points, three first-place votes

T-2. Andrew John, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), 45 points, three first-place votes

T-2. Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald-Bulletin, 45 points

4. Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune, 35 points

5. Nathan Baird, Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.), 31 points

6. Anthony Zilis, The Champaign News-Gazette, 30 points

7. Donnie Collins, The Scranton Times-Tribune, 27 points

T-8. Travis L. Brown, The Bryan-College Station Eagle, 21 points

T-8. Brody Miller, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), 21 points

T-8. Alex Riley, Wilmington (NC) StarNews, 21 points

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