Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion Ledger won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Column Writing for the C Division.

Kellenberger will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta on June 19.

He edged runner-up Ed Hardin of the News & Record. Mike DeFabo of the Anderson Herald-Bulletin finished third.

Sports editors in the C Division submitted 40 column 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.

Each columnist was required to enter four articles. Judges made their decisions based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal. There are no restrictions on subject matter and no requirements for regular appearance.

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

1. Hugh Kellenberger, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) 1 2 3 4 52 points, two first-place votes

2. Ed Hardin, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) 1 2 3 4 46 points, one first-place vote

3. Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald-Bulletin 1 2 3 4 40 points, one first-place vote

4. Nathan Baird, Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) 1 2 3 4 34 points

T-5. Thomas Pope, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer 1 2 3 4 33 points

T-5. Brad Rock, Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) 1 2 3 4 33 points, two first-place votes
7. Jeff Mills, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) 1 2 3 4 27 points

T-8. Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News 1 2 3 4 25 points

T-8 Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho) 1 2 3 4 25 points

10. Larry Bohannan, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.) 1 2 3 4 15 points

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