USA Today Sports’ Christine Brennan won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors’ 2018 contest in breaking news for the A Division.

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

Brennan edged runner-up Pete Thamel from Yahoo Sports. Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich from The New York Times placed third.

Sports editors in the A Division submitted 70 breaking news 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. 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.

The breaking news judges weighed the various elements of a breaking news story: timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity and significance. The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries:

1. Christine Brennan, USA Today, 49 points, 1 first-place vote
2. Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports, 43 points,
3. Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich, The New York Times, 42 points, 1 first-place vote
4. Andrew Beaton, Wall Street Journal , 36 points
5. Eric Branch, The San Francisco Chronicle, 35 points
6. Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner, Los Angeles Times, 34 points, 2 first-place votes
7. Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun, 33 points, 2 first-place votes
8. Jim Baumbach, Newsday, 26 points
9. Alex Speier, The Boston Globe, 24 points
10. Jim McBride, The Boston Globe, 8 points

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