Mark Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2019 contest for explanatory writing in the D Division.

Weiszer will be presented with his first-place plaque at the 2020 APSE Summer Conference Banquet on June 27 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.

Eli Lederman of the Columbia Missourian finished second.

Contest chair Lisa Wilson and fellow APSE officers Todd M. Adams, Gary Potosky and Dan Spears prepared the entries. Sports editors in the D Division submitted 30 entries in the category. Click here to join and enter the contest for 2020.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in St. Petersburg, 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.

Explanatory stories include reporting on trends, issues, and original ideas that sheds new light on issues and personalities in the news. They go beyond the “yesterday” of the breaking news story.

A list of the Top 10:

1. Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald, 44 points, 1 first-place vote
2. Eli Lederman, Columbia Missourian, 39 points, 1 first-place vote
3. T.J. Holmes, Shasta County Sports, 37 points, 1 first-place vote
4. Jake Adams, The Carlisle Sentinel, 36 points
5. (tie) Joseph Spears, The Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 33 points, 1 first-place vote
5. (tie) Pete Tobey, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.), 33 points, 1 first-place vote
7. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, 31 points
8. Julie Jag, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 30 points, 1 first-place vote
9. Cecil Joyce, The Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 27 points
10. Ryan Black, The Manhattan Mercury, 22 points