By Robert Gagliardi, APSE Third Vice President

Courtney Cronin of the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in long video in the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

Cronin won for a two-part video series she did on the return of NBA star Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City — his former team — as a member of the Golden State Warriors.

Part I of the video can be seen here. Part II here.

Cronin beat out Clark Wade of The Indianapolis Star, who placed second with his video about an inside look at a high school football team called Cathedral Football.

The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair John Bednarowski and fellow APSE officers Jeff Rosen, Todd Adams and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry. Preliminary judges selected a top five, and from there another group of judges ranked the finalists in order from 1 to 5 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given five points for a first-place vote, four for second, etc. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference at the Marriott Hotel Nashville/Vanderbilt University June 17-20. The second- through fifth-place winners will receive frameable certificates.

The 75,000-175,000 long video category consists of videos longer than five minutes. Entries were judged, foremost, on the strength of storytelling. Visual and auditory quality also was considered.

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

  1. Courtney Cronin, San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, 25 points, 4 first-place votes

The return of NBA star Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City. Part I, Part II here.

  1.  Clark Wade, The Indianapolis Star, 18 points, 1 first-place vote

 Inside look at a high school football team called Cathedral Football.

  1. Adam Kemp, Tim Money, The Oklahoman, 17 points

   Varsity: Backfield Brothers

  1. Mike Nyerges,The Cincinnati Enquirer, 16 points

   Bengals 50 – Bill Walsh: From Cincinnati to San Francisco

  1. James P. McCoy, The Buffalo News, 14 points, 1 first-place vote

   Behind the scenes on a Bills game day with News photographer James P. McCoy