Jon Blau of The Herald-Times of Bloomington, Ind., won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2019 contest for feature story in the D Division.

Blau will be presented with his first-place plaque at the 2020 APSE Summer Conference Banquet on June 27 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.

Bennett Durando of the Columbia Missourian finished second.

Contest chair Lisa Wilson and fellow APSE officers Todd M. Adams, Gary Potosky and Dan Spears prepared the entries. Sports editors in the D Division entered 64 stories in the category. Click here to join and enter the contest for 2020.

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

Feature stories are a single article, judged on human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting.

A list of the Top 10:

1. Jon Blau, The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.), 44 points (1 first-place vote)
2. Bennett Durando, Columbia Missourian, 43 points (1 first-place vote)
3. (tie) Justin Toscano, The Manhattan Mercury, 40 points (2 first-place votes)
3. (tie) Matt Tait, Lawrence Journal-World, 40 points (2 first-place votes)
5. Travis Lazarczyk, Kennebec Journal, 35 points
6. Justin Driggers, The Florence Morning News, 33 points
7. Matthew Rios, Columbia Missourian, 30 points
8. Greg Woods, The Manhattan Mercury, 26 points
9. Mitch Rupert, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 22 points
10. Matt Schuckman, Quincy Herald-Whig, 17 points

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