Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2020 contest in Category B Columns.

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

Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer finished second and Dirk Chatelain and Tom Shatel, both of the Omaha World-Herald, tied for third.

A Columns entry is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

Sports editors in Category B submitted 49 entries. The contest is open to APSE members. 

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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 10th-place finishers will receive frameable certificates.

The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries, and voting results.

1. Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel 1, 2, 3, 4, 44 points, 1 first-place vote

2. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer 1, 2, 3, 4, 42 points, 1 first-place vote

T3. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald 1, 2, 3, 4, 38 points, 1 first-place vote

T3. Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald 1, 2, 3, 4, 38 points, 1 first-place vote

5. Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1, 2, 3, 4, 34 points

6. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News 1, 2, 3, 4, 31 points, 1 first-place vote

7. Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman 1, 2, 3, 4, 30 points, 1 first-place vote

8. Ben Frederickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1, 2, 3, 4, 27 points

9. Paul Klee, The Gazette (Colorado Springs) 1, 2, 3, 4, 25 points

10. David Briggs, The Blade (Toledo) 1, 2, 3, 4, 21 points