Mark Gianotto of The Commercial Appeal won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2020 contest in Category C Columns.

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

Geoff Calkins of the Daily Memphian finished second and Nick Suss of The Clarion Ledger and Michael Lycklama of the Idaho Statesman tied for third.

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

Sports editors in Category C submitted 36 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. Mark Gianotto, The Commercial Appeal 1, 2, 3, 4, 58 points, 4 first-place votes

2. Geoff Calkins, The Daily Memphian 1, 2, 3, 4, 49 points, 1 first-place vote

T3. Nick Suss, Clarion Ledger 1, 2, 3, 4, 40 points, 1 first-place vote

T3. Michael Lycklama, Idaho Statesman 1, 2, 3, 4, 40 points

5. Matt Vantour, The Republican/MassLive 1, 2, 3, 4, 38 points

6. Josh Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review 1, 2, 3, 4, 31 points

7. Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald 1, 2, 3, 4, 25 points

8. Scott Chancey, The Florence Morning News 1, 2, 3, 4, 19 points

T9. Mark Madden, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review  1, 2, 3, 4, 15 points

T9. Larry Bohannan, The Desert Sun 1, 2, 3, 4, 15 points