Matt Calkins of The Seattle Times won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2015 contest in column writing for the 75-175,000 circulation category.

Calkins, whose body of work included a column about a man who credits Marshawn Lynch for helping him lose 170 pounds, will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2016 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 22-25 at The Omni in Charlotte, N.C.

Calkins collected five of the six first-place votes and finished with 57 points. Columnists from The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.) took second and third place. Tara Sullivan finished with 40 points and one first-place vote, while colleague Bob Klapisch finished third with 39 points.

Sports editors in the 75-175,000 category submitted 42 entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Tommy Deas 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 late February and early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., 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, 9 points for second and 8 points for third place, and so on. 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.

Columns were judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal. Each organization submitted five columns per writer and two entries were permitted. There was no restriction on subject matter and no requirement that they appear regularly.

The top 10 are listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries:


  1. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, five first-place votes, 57 points

Marshawn Lynch ‘saved my life,’ says man who lost 170 pounds

As Seahawks lose games, Kam Chancellor is losing fans

Why Bremerton coach Joe Kennedy’s stance on postgame prayer is admirable

‘It has restored my faith in humanity’: sports world rallies around Auburn 7-year-old Avery Huffman after cancer diagnosis

With Hope Solo in goal, it’s hard for me to get excited for Reign’s title match


  1. Tara Sullivan, The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), one first-place vote, 40 points

Eddie Jordan’s Rutgers journey is in the books

At Liberty’s Media Day, Isiah Thomas as annoying as ever

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood on the hot seat, but problems run much deeper

Mets realize dream, reach first Fall Classic since 2000

Friend of the Giants becomes part of the family


  1. Bob Klapisch, The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), 39 points

A-Rod’s milestone delights the Stadium

Mets’ 16-13 win over Braves in 1985 an instant classic

Yankee Bryan Mitchell’s nightmare — I’ve been there

Yogi Berra, a true baseball hero, leaves legacy of compassion

Alcohol problem should be Sabathia’s No. 1 concern


  1. David Climer, The Tennessean (Nashville), 36 points

Back to face Predators, Barry Trotz comes full circle

Preds’ Poile sees success in year after eye injury

For Brandt Snedeker, it’s all about green jacket

Titans owners should do us a favor and sell the team

Steve Spurrier, Phillip Fulmer found common ground amid rivalry


  1. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, 35 points

Let Beast Mode be: Why I’ve changed my mind about Marshawn Lynch’s silence

Super Bowl trophy yanked from Seahawks’ hands

Seahawks made mistake by drafting Frank Clark

The amazing sporting life of George Hill, stat man behind 2 of TV’s legendary sportscasters

Attending Army-Navy game a truly moving, memorable experience


  1. Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 34 points

Champions aren’t always determined by who wins the game

High school reunion: Jacket’s journey soon will lead to its rightful owner

Cache players say their coach tried to injure an opponent; believe them

Nothing was more compelling on opening night than Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard

Baker Mayfield and Baillie Burmaster: Love Bedlam style


  1. Scott Fowler, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, 26 points

Panthers’ Cam Newton fortunate only reputation was injured in camp fight

Panthers should not re-sign Greg Hardy even after dismissal

Move the fans back and slow the cars down after another Daytona crash

Michael Jordan’s kiss symbolized all Dean Smith meant

Are Panthers on the verge of a miracle?


  1. Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 23 points

Why Oklahoma’s football team is the wrong messenger in the protest against a racist fraternity video

Why Baker Mayfield is like Russell Westbrook

Binger, Johnny Bench still tightly linked even 50 years later

Why the College Football Playoff is shunning the working man

Oklahoma City Thunder: Why history doesn’t seem to be on Scott Brooks’ side


  1. Ron Borges, Boston Herald, 21 points

How Darrelle Revis, Patriots used each other

Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach at his best in the ring

Ken Casey, from music mogul to boxing promoter

Robert Kraft perilously close to becoming today’s Al Davis

Wins, not words, fuel Tom Brady


  1. Jeff Jacobs, Hartford (Conn.) Courant, 19 points

By Cursing In Media, Geno Takes It A Little Too Far

True Or Not, Cheating Label Sticks To Patriots

In Battle Of His Life, Danny Deitz Inspires Simsbury

There’s A Garbage Problem In My Town

Aaron Hernandez: Eyes Dead, Heart Dead, Soul Dead