By Robert Gagliardi

APSE Third Vice President

Austin Meek of The Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Explanatory Writing for the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Meek won for his story on an associate athletic director at the University of Oregon who screens agents interested in the school’s football players.

Meek will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2017 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.

Vorel beat out Brent C. Wagner of the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. There was a tie for third place among Erik Hall of and Cody Stavenhagen of the Tulsa World.

Sports editors in the 30,000-75,000 category submitted 66 explanatory entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they has been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, 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 for second and so 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 explanatory category judges a single story along with any accompanying sidebars or graphics/charts that help supplement the story. However, sidebars were not required reading by the judges. Explanatory stories include trends, issues and original ideas. They shed new light on issues and personalities in the news.

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

  1. Austin Meek, The Register-Guard, 44 points (2 first-place votes)

           An agent gatekeeper

  1.   Brent C. Wagner, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, 42 points

           Move to Devaney nets profit for volleyball

    3t.   Cody Stavenhagen, Tulsa World, 39 points (1 first-place vote)

           Twice arrested on domestic violence complaints, OU’s Westbrook took complicated route to stardom

    3t.  Erik Hall,, 39 points

          174 LGBT athletes from Power 5 Conference schools have come out publicly

  5t. David Briggs, Toledo Blade, 32 points (1 first-place vote)

       College football titans toss tradition of political sway


  5t. Thomas Clouse, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), 32 points

       Questions and accusations swirl in WSU football program as felony arrests mount

  1. Steve Craig, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, 31 points

       Help wanted: Maine’s school administrators struggle to find coaches

  1. Zac Boyer, Washington Times, 27 points (1 first-place vote)

       Baseball aims to end trafficking of players with upcoming diplomacy trip to Cuba

   9t. Candy Woodall, The Patriot News/, 22 points (1 first-place vote)

        Penn National Race Course works to restore reputation as 10th arrest in 2 years heads to        trial

   9t.  Cody Stavenhagen, Kelly Hines, Mike Brown,Tulsa World, 22 points

         As nationwide debate hits Tulsa, athletics activism intersect