By Robert Gagliardi
APSE Third Vice President
Austin Meek of The Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in the Columns category for the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.
Meek won for his portfolio of five columns. He will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2017 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
Will Sammon of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and Kirk Wessler of the Peoria Journal Star tied for second place.
Sports editors in the 30,00075,000 category submitted 71 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, 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.
2t. Will Sammon,The Clarion-Ledger, 41 points (1 first-place vote)
2t. Kirk Wessler, Peoria Journal Star, 41 points (1 first-place vote)
4t. Paul Klee, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 39 points (3 first-place votes)
4t. Ed Hardin, Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record, 39 points
8t. Frank Bodani, York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News, 23 points
8t. Mark Story, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, 23 points