Mike DeFabo of the Anderson Herald-Bulletin and Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover tied for first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Beat Writing for the C Division.

DeFabo and Marcello will be presented first-place plaques at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta on June 19.

Brandon Foster of the Casper Star-Tribune finished third.

Sports editors in the C Division submitted 36 beat writing 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.

The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the summer conference. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

Beat writing entries included five pieces of content: breaking news story, event or game coverage story, enterprise story, one piece of multimedia, and a wild-card piece of content from anywhere on the writer’s beat. Entries also included a cover letter to help show the submissions demonstrate excellence on the beat, as well as provide outside metrics of success. Judges were instructed to reward entries that show authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage.

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

T-1. Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald-Bulletin 1 2 3 4 5 44 points, two first-place votes

T-1. Brandon Marcello, Auburn Undercover 1 2 3 4 5 44 points

3. Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune 1 2 3 4 5 42 points

4. Nathan Baird, Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) 1 2 3 4 5 41 points, one first-place vote

T-5 Larry Bohannan, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.) 1 2 3 4 5 36 points, one first-place vote

T-5. Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) 1 2 3 4 5 36 points

T-7. Scott Petrak, The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) 1 2 3 4 5 26 points

T-7. Nick Suss, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) 1 2 3 4 5  26 points

9. Matt Bufano, Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice 1 2 3 4 5 22 points, one first-place vote

10. Maria McIlwain, The Bryan-College Station Eagle 1 2 3 4 5 13 points

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