Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald unanimously won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2015 contest in Features for the 75-175,000 circulation category.

Chatelain won for “A Test of Endurance,” a piece telling the story of Ty and Trey Hansen, Trey’s death and how his twin Ty forged on to set new milestones at his high school. Chatelain will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2016 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 22-25 at The Omni in Charlotte, N.C.

Chatelain collected all seven first-place votes and finished with 70 points. Finishing second was Scott Fowler of the The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, who finished with 60 points. Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was third with 44 points.

Sports editors in the 75-175,000 category submitted 92 entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Tommy Deas 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 late February and early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., 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, 9 points for second and 8 points for third place, and so on. 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.

Features were judged on human interest, reader interest and quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting. Each news organization was limited to three entries.

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


  1. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, seven first-place votes, 70 points

A Test of Endurance


  1. Scott Fowler, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, 60 points

Surviving and thriving: Chancellor Lee Adams turns 16


  1. Michael Cohen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 44 points

A day on the bubble with Packers’ Alonzo Harris


  1. Tim Graham, The Buffalo News, 43 points

The wild early years and the football family that shaped Bills coach Rex Ryan


  1. Luke Johnson, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), 39 points

Striving for more, Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth driven by never-ending worry              


  1. Jason Kersey, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 34 points

How OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s brilliance carried him from Muleshoe and onto the coaching fast track


  1. Jayson Jenks, The Seattle Times, 32 points

Despite struggles on and off field, ex-Skyline star QB Jake Heaps still chasing his dream


  1. Candace Buckner, Indianapolis Star, 31 points

Monta Ellis: ‘Basketball was my escape. I really didn’t have a childhood’


  1. John Naughton, The Des Moines (Iowa) Register, 19 points

Iowans take ‘Moneyball’ approach to Kentucky Derby, and it’s working


  1. Matthew D. LaPlante, Salt Lake Tribune, 13 points

In El Salvador, RSL will play in city where soccer is winning battle over violence