By John Bednarowski

APSE Second Vice President

Derrick Goold of the  St. Louis Post-Dispatch won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in the Beat Writing category for the 75,000-175,000 circulation division.

Goold won for his coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference). The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.

Goold beat out runner-up Eric Kolenich of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Matt Pentz of The SeattleTimes placed third.

Sports editors in the 75,000-175,000 category submitted 45 Beat Writing 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 had 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 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 beat writing category judges a portfolio of five stories by a single author that shows authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat. Entries included at least one breaking news story; one event or game coverage story; one enterprise piece and two wild-card stories from any of the aforementioned categories (or other stories or analysis related to the beat).

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

  1. Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 66 points (3-first-place votes)

Holliday might be moving on, but his impact in St. Louis is long-lasting

All-Star Diaz lives his dream, but strikes out in key spot

Cardinals go ‘over the top’ to catch Fowler

Goold: One throw in Korea started Oh on long journey to Cardinals

Cursed no more: 108 years later, Cubs win another World Series

  1. Eric Kolenich, Richmond Times-Dispatch 48 points (2 first-place votes)

‘No life worth having like this’: A former Mills Godwin High School soccer player’s story of addiction, desperation and recovery

Highland Springs players wear purple to keep Angie close to their hearts

George Lancaster, an old-school coach, approaches 700 wins

After rapid ascension, Highland Springs’ K’Von Wallace picks Clemson

Patrick Henry runs ‘Florida’ offense to victory over Atlee

  1. Matt Pentz, The SeattleTimes 42 points (1 first-place vote)

Sounders part ways with longtime coach Sigi Schmid

How Stefan Frei saved the Sounders and ultimately lifted them to MLS Cup

Handwalla Bwana could be the next Seattle soccer star. But first he must conquer his American Dream

Sounders have navigated a bumpy road since splitting from Seahakws in 2014

Five meetings that shaped newly-minted Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer’s career

  1. Stephen J. Nesbitt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 39 points

Note to Self

Great-uncle of Pirates’ Tony Watson was part of Rev. King’s inner circle

Marte’s long climb in baseball rewarded with All-Star spot

Pirates outlast Diamondbacks, 12-10, in marathon series finale

Ken Griffey Jr.’s hall of fame election adds to Donora’s roster of champions

  1. Ross Dellenger, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) 37 points

Behind the scenes of Les Miles’ firing: When decision made, how players took news, what ex-coach told players

Stopped cold: Florida beats error-prone LSU 16-10 with goal-line stand

LSU’s coach Ed Orgeron: From bar fights to bass drums, the larger-than-life tale of a changed man

Ex-offensive coaches, analysts weigh in on LSU’s passing woes: ‘It’s hard for guys to change’

LSU’s new football coach Ed Orgeron: ‘This is bigger than life’

  1. Andrew Carter, News & Observer 35 points

Runner Amy Charney isn’t letting breast cancer take her out of the race

NCAA pulls championship events from North Carolina over HB2

Scout’s honor: What drives UNC’s Elijah Hood

Art of the deal: How Swofford, ACC, ESPN reached agreement to launch ACC Network

Villanova, Jenkins deny UNC 6th national title with 77-74 win at the buzzer

  1. David Woods, Indy Star 33 points

Local Olympic hopeful Steele Johnson reveals memory loss from near-tragic accident

Lilly King on winning gold: ‘Knowing I did it clean’
Indy Olympic hopeful Candyce McGrone has traveled a rough road

Mysterious ailment could’ve cost Amy Bilquist more than just an Olympic spot

Boudia overcomes drugs suicidal thoughts return olympics

  1. Michael Phillips, Richmond Times-Dispatch 32 points
    How the Redskins went from worst to first

Everything you need to know about a potential new stadium for the Redskins

Thousands of NFL players potentially impacted by medical records theft from Redskins trainer

Redskins tie Bengals, leave London unhappy with officiating

Redskins Sunday Playbook: What to look for when Washington travels to Philadelphia

  1. Adam Sparks, The Tennessean 28 points

Vanderbilt mourns Donny Everett

Vanderbilt’s Sherfield ‘trying to heal’ through hard work
Vanderbilt pitcher Donny Everett dies in drowning accident
How Derek Mason turned Vanderbilt around through doubt, fear and tears
Dansby Swanson living Braves dream while living at home

10. Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald 25 points

Huskers’ key fourth-down conversion, late touchdown run put finishing touches on statement win over Oregon

Territorial gains: Husker coach Mike Riley believes in ruling 500-mile recruiting radius, but it’s growing difficult

McKewon: Iowa debacle could make Husker coach Mike Riley an agent of change

Husker linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey says he can’t stay silent, ignore issues of injustice

Husker punter Sam Foltz — ‘universally loved and respected by everyone he touched’ — dies in car wreck