Danielle Lerner of the Daily Memphian won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2020 contest in Category C Explanatory.

Lerner will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2021 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on Aug. 18.

Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette finished second and Jon Blau of the Herald-Times was third.

An Explanatory story can include trends, issues, original ideas and it should explain something. It sheds new light on issues and personalities in the news. It is more than a feature story and less than a project. It goes beyond the “yesterday” of a breaking news story.

Sports editors in Category C submitted 45 stories. The contest is open to APSE members. 

Click here to join.

Contest chair and First Vice President Gary Potosky and fellow APSE officers President Lisa Wilson, Second Vice President Jorge Rojas and Third Vice President Steve Hemphill prepared the entries.

Because this year’s in-person APSE Winter Conference was canceled due to the pandemic, all judging was remote during three weeks in February. Each category had a set of judges examine all entries, choose a Top 10 as a group (in some cases, the ranking includes fewer or more than 10 entries), and each of those judges ranked the finalists individually. A second set of judges in each category then also ranked those finalists.

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 12th-place finishers will receive frameable certificates.

The top 12 is listed below with links to the winning entries, and voting results.

1. Danielle Lerner, The Daily Memphian, 60 points, 2 first-place votes

2. Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette, 59 points, 2 first-place votes

3. Jon Blau, The Herald-Times, 46 points, 1 first-place vote

4. Andy Sodergren, Naples Daily News, 45 points

5. Jeff Mills, News & Record, 42 points, 1 first-place vote

6. Greg Hadley, The State, 39 points

7. Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald, 38 points

8. Ben Portnoy, The Commercial Dispatch, 36 points

9. Joey Chandler, StarNews, 33 points

10. Theo DeRosa, The Commercial Dispatch, 32 points

11. Ethan Joyce, Winston-Salem Journal, 22 points

12. Michael Lananna and Greg Hadley, The State, 16 points