By Robert Gagliardi

APSE Third Vice President

Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in the Breaking News category for the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Wood won for his story on the Packers’ B.J. Raji. He 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.

Aaron Kasinitz of The Patriot News/ placed second. Brian Rosenthal and Brent C. Wagner of the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star finished third.

Sports editors in the 30,000-75,000 category submitted 62 Breaking News entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, 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 Breaking News category judges an article of a sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle, Elements of the story considered in judging include timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity, significance.

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

  1. Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette, 55 points (2 first place votes)

    B.J. Raji ready for different challenge

  1.   Aaron Kasinitz,The Patriot News/, 53 points (2 first-place votes)

           Penn State women’s gymnastics program remains toxic, former assistant, current athletes say

  1.    Brian Rosenthal and Brent C. Wagner,Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, 52 points

           Yori resigns following athletic department investigation

  1.    Dustin Dopirak and MJ Slaby, Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel, 50 points (1 first-place vote)

           Records: Butch Jones calls police chief, Drae Bowles on day of rape claim

  1.    Jeff Mills and Brant Wilkerson-New, Greensboro News & Record, 40 points

           NCAA pulls seven championship events from N.C. over HB 2

  1.    Dave Southorn, Idaho Statesman, 39 points (1 first-place vote)

           Boise State football players expelled, suspended for alleged sexual assault

  1.    Brian Christopherson,Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, 35 points (1 first-place vote)

           ‘Authentic’ Foltz mourned following crash in Wisconsin

  1.   Chris Boyle, Daytona Beach News-Journal, 23 points

          Denver Broncos trade up to take Paxton Lynch with 26th pick in NFL Draft

    9t.   Andrew John, The Desert Sun, 19 points

           Brandon Vandenburg sentenced to 17 years in Vanderbilt rape trial

    9t.   Don Jacobs, Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel, 19 points

           Knoxville police chief ends ‘courtesy calls’ to UT’s Butch Jones