Cecil Hurt of The Tuscaloosa News won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Column Writing for the D Division.

Hurt finished atop the field, with John Bednarowski of the Marietta Daily Journal and Ryan Black of The Manhattan Mercury tying for second.

Sports editors in the D Division submitted 29 column writing 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.

Hurt will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center on June 19. 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. Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa News, 49 points (3 first-place votes)

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

2 (tie). John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal, 42 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

2 (tie). Ryan Black, The Manhattan Mercury, 42 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  |  Column 4

4. Joey Chandler, The Tuscaloosa News, 40 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3 |  Column 4

5. Tim Fitzgerald, GoPowercat.com, 39 points (3)

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

6. Mike Lee, San Angelo Standard-Times, 33 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

7. John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa, 30 points

Column 1  | Column 2  |  Column 3  | Column 4

8. Matt Schuckman, Quincy Herald-Whig, 23 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

9. Bill Speltz, The Missoulian, Missoula, Mont., 21 points

Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  |  Column 4

10. Drew Bonifant, Kennebec Journal, 11 points
Column 1  | Column 2  | Column 3  | Column 4

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