By Mike Sherman, APSE First Vice President/Contest Chair

Mike Klis of the Denver Post took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2013 contest in the Breaking News category in the largest circulation category for his story on Elvis Dumervil’s botched contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos.

Klis broke news of the “Dumervil Deadline Debacle,” which led to the Broncos releasing the three-time Pro Bowler after his contract was faxed to NFL headquarters six minutes and one second past the deadline. Klis will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2014 APSE Banquet June 28 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

Balloting by six APSE judges gave Klis a narrow edge over runner-up Adam Skolnick of the New York Times and third-place finisher Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. The remainder of the top 10 is listed below in order of finish.

Sports editors in the over 175,000 circulation category submitted a total of 82 breaking news entries written or directed by APSE member sports departments in 2013. Contest catchers 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 early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Indianapolis 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 1 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 breaking news category recognizes the best story off a sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle.

Online or print stories are eligible. Judges weighed the various elements of a breaking news story, including timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity and significance. Cover letters explaining these elements are permitted in this category.

The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.

2013 APSE Contest, Breaking New, over 175,000 circulation

(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Mike Klis, Denver Post, (2), 45 points

Broncos release Dumervil because contract too late

2. Adam Skolnick, The New York Times, (1), 44 points

A Deep-Water Diver From Brooklyn Dies After Trying for a Record

3. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, (2), 43 points

USC fires Lane Kiffin in the middle of the night

4. Mike Bresnahan, David Wharton and Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 40 points

'Showtime' ringmaster

5. Jeff Goodman,, 31 points

Pac-12 head of officials investigated for targeting Arizona's Sean Miller

6. Bob Hohler, The Boston Globe, 30 points

Older sibling’s role in Boston attack stuns boxing circles

7. Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports, 29 points

AAU coach: I took money intended to steer Ben McLemore

8. Clark Spencer, The Miami Herald, 27 points

Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigns over allegations of abusive behavior

9. Kevin Manahan, USA TODAY Sports, 26 points

Retaliation fears torment Ortiz's mom

10. Ricky Young and Mark Zeigler, UT San Diego, 15 points

Video shows reason for Burns’ departure

(Mike Sherman, APSE first vice president and contest chair, is sports editor of The Oklahoman. Email him at, follow him at @MikeSherman or call 405-475-3164.)