Adam Sparks of The Tennessean won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2020 contest in Category B Short Feature.
Sparks will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2021 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on Aug. 18.
Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indianapolis Star finished second and Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World-Herald was third.
A Short Feature entry is a feature story that rewards the many shorter stories that are outstanding but don’t command the length that more deeply reported pieces demand. A Short Feature entry in Category B cannot exceed 1,500 words.
Contest chair and First Vice President Gary Potosky and fellow APSE officers — President Lisa Wilson, Second Vice President Jorge Rojas and Third Vice President Steve Hemphill prepared the entries.
Because this year’s in-person APSE Winter Conference was canceled due to the pandemic, all judging was remote during three weeks in February. Each category had a set of judges examine all entries, choose a Top 10 as a group (in some cases, the ranking includes fewer or more than 10 entries), and each of those judges ranked the finalists individually. A second set of judges in each category then also ranked those finalists.
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 finishers will receive frameable certificates.
The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries, and voting results.
1. Adam Sparks, The Tennessean, 51 points, 3 first-place votes
2. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, 43 points, 2 first-place votes
3. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald, 38 points, 1 first-place vote
4. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, 34 points
5. J.C. Carnahan, Orlando Sentinel, 33 points
6. Michael Phillips, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 32 points
7. Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel, 31 points
8. Wes Goldberg, Bay Area News Group , 29 points
9. Alexandra Andrejev, Charlotte Observer, 25 points
10. David Cloninger, The Post and Courier, 22 points