Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Column Writing for the B Division.

Finger 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 Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean finished third.

Sports editors in the B Division submitted 66 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. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News 1 2 3 4, 44 points, two first-place votes
  2. Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1 2 3 4, 41 points, one first-place vote
  3. Joe Rexrode, The Tennessean (Nashville, Tenn.) 1 2 3 4, 37 points
  4. Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald 1 2 3 4, 36 points, one first-place vote
  5. Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) 1 2 3 4, 34 points, one first-place vote
  6. Luke DeCock, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) 1 2 3 4, 33 points, one first-place vote
  7. Kurt Kragthorpe, The Salt Lake Tribune 1 2 3 4, 32 points
  8. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer 1 2 3 4, 30 points
  9. Woody Paige, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1 2 3 4, 24 points
  10. Seth Soffian, The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.) 1 2 3 4, 19 points

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