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Top Sports Writing Honored

April 8, 1998

Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, already the most decorated winner in the history of the Associated Press Sports Editors, has scored a double for the second consecutive year, taking first place in the column writing and feature story divisions of the 1997 contest.

Albom, who competes in the category for papers with circulation above 175,000, was joined by seven others as multiple top-five finishers, including Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, who came close to duplicating his triple of two years ago when he won plaques for first-, second- and fifth-place finishes.

This time, Plaschke was second in column writing and fifth in feature story in the over-175,000 category, as well as being a member of the Times’ fourth-place investigative reporting team (all circulation categories are judged in one category in that division). Last year, Plaschke was fourth in feature story.

The Dallas Morning News was a triple winner (daily, Sunday and special sections) in the APSE section judging for the 10th consecutive year in the over-175,000 circulation category, and the Akron Beacon Journal achieved that honor for the third consecutive year in the 50,000-175,000 category. Seven other papers joined them as triple winners.

After a fourth place and an honorable mention in the 1995 contest, Albom came back with 1996 first places in column writing and feature story _ the double that he repeated for 1997.

Before the 1995 contest, Albom had won in column writing for nine consecutive years and feature story for three.

Other double top-five finishers in the 1997 contest (circulation is based on daily figures):

Over 175,000: Mike Fish, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, first in enterprise reporting (on a three-reporter team) and second in investigative reporting; Michael Madden, Boston Globe, first in game story and second in news story (on a four-reporter team); and John Romano, St. Petersburg Times, second in game story and fifth in enterprise reporting (on a four-reporter team).

50,000-175,000: Adrian Wojnarowski, Fresno Bee, now with the Record in Hackensack, N.J., first in column writing and fourth in game story; and Steve Campbell, Albany Times Union, second in feature story and fifth in game story.

Under 50,000: Chris Krug, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.), third in news story and fourth in game story.

Terry Pluto of the Beacon Journal, who was the only repeat winner last year when he won for column writing after doing it in 1995, was fifth in column writing this time.

Among newspapers that scored heavily in writing and section divisions was the Lexington Herald-Leader in the 50,000-175,000 division. The Herald-Leader had two first-place plaques for writing (Chris Poore and Mark Story in enterprise reporting and Chuck Culpepper in feature story) _ as well as winning a section triple.

The Los Angeles Times had four top-five finishers in the writing divisions (including a first place) and was a triple winner in sections.

The Boston Globe had four top-five finishers in the writing divisions (including a first place), was in the top 10 in two of the three section divisions (daily and Sunday) and was in the top 10 in the 2-year-old page design division.

The San Francisco Examiner was a triple winner in 50,000-175,000 sections and had two top-five writing finishers.

The section and writing winners will receive plaques at the awards dinner that wraps up the APSE convention in Richmond, Va.

Preliminary writing judging and all section judging was done in early March by more than 80 sports editors and assistants during the APSE winter workshop at St. Petersburg. Senior news executives at papers throughout the United States were the final judges in the writing divisions.

The top five in each writing division:

Under 50,000

Column writing

1. Peter Jackel, Racine (Wis.) Journal Times; 2. Eric Gongola, New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times; 3. Ken Tingley, Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star; 4. Reggie Hayes, Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel; 5. John Glennon, Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald.

Enterprise reporting

1. Melinda Arbaugh, Dave Buscema, Bill Rabinowitz, Kristin Stetler and Walt Wiltschek, York (Pa.) Daily Record; 2. Dave Bangert, Mike Carmin, Brian Clark, Bob Kriebel, Tom Kubat, Jerry Morehouse, Ken Thompson and Jeff Washburn, Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier; 3. Nathan Sanders, San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times; 4. Phillip Tutor, Anniston (Ala.) Star; 5. Seabury M. Blair Jr., Bremerton (Wash.) Sun.

Feature story

1. Richard Scott, Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald; 2. Steve Craig, Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.); 3. Mike DiMauro, New London (Conn.) Day; 4. Rick Noland, Medina County (Ohio) Gazette; 5. Phill Casaus, Albuquerque Tribune.

Game story

1. Paul Gattis, Decatur (Ala.) Daily; 2. Jon Masson, La Crosse (Wis.) Tribune; 3. Chet Fussman, Birmingham Post-Herald; 4. Chris Krug, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.); 5. Bret Bloomquist, San Angelo Standard-Times.

News story

1. Steve Jacoby, Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun; 2. Dave Albee, Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal; 3. Chris Krug, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.); 4. John Bohnenkamp and Matt Levins, Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa); 5. Chip Towers, Athens (Ga.) Daily News/Banner-Herald.

50,000-175,000

Column writing

1. Adrian Wojnarowski, Fresno Bee; 2. Gary Peterson, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.); 3. Bob Padecky, Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat; 4. David Teel, Newport News Daily Press; 5. Terry Pluto, Akron Beacon Journal.

Enterprise reporting

1. Mark Story and Chris Poore, Lexington Herald-Leader; 2. Richard Grey, Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune; 3. Tom Tomashek, Kevin Tressolini and Stephanie Whyche, Wilmington News Journal; 4. George Schroeder, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 5. Robin Brownlee and Charlie Gillis, Edmonton (Alberta) Journal.

Feature story

1. Chuck Culpepper, Lexington Herald-Leader; 2. Steve Campbell, Albany Times Union; 3. Christopher Baldwin, Asbury Park Press; 4. Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Examiner; 5. Larry LaRue, Tacoma News Tribune.

Game story

1. Tom Spousta, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune; 2. Henry Schulman, San Francisco Examiner; 3. Stephen Caldwell, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 4. Adrian Wojnarowski, Fresno Bee; 5. Steve Campbell, Albany Times Union.

News story

1. Matt Steinmetz, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.); 2. Brian Murphy, Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat; 3. Steve Politi, Raleigh News and Observer; 4. Brett Friedlander, Fayetteville Observer-Times; 5. Irv Mossberger, Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune.

Over 175,000

Column writing

1. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press; 2. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times; 3. Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News; 4. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati Enquirer; 5. Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star.

Enterprise reporting

1. Mike Fish, Jeff Schultz and Matt Winkeljohn, Atlanta Journal and Constitution; 2. Robin Romano and Larry Tye, Boston Globe; 3. Chris Jenkins and Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune; 4. Larry Guest, L.C. Johnson and Tim Povtak, Orlando Sentinel; 5. Sharon Ginn, Joanne Korth, Bruce Lowitt and John Romano, St. Petersburg Times.

Feature story

1. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press; 2. Dave Hyde, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel; 3. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald; 4. Mark Kram, Philadelphia Daily News; 5. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times.

Game story

1. Michael Madden, Boston Globe; 2. John Romano, St. Petersburg Times; 3. Andrew Beyer, Washington Post; 4. Scott Miller, St. Paul Pioneer Press; 5. Jere Longman, New York Times.

News story

1. Sallie Hoffmeister, Los Angeles Times; 2. Michael Holley, Peter May, Michael Madden and Bob Ryan, Boston Globe; 3. Don Banks, Minneapolis Star Tribune; 4. Will McDonough, Boston Globe; 5. Jason La Canfora and Brian Murphy, Detroit Free Press.

All circulation categories

Investigative reporting

1. John Valenti, Newsday; 2. Mike Fish, Atlanta Journal and Constitution; 3. Liz Chandler, Charlotte Observer; 4. Lisa Dillman, Mike Hiserman, Bill Plaschke and Steve Springer, Los Angeles Times; 5. Leigh Hopper and Mike Leggett, Austin American-Statesman.

The top 10 in each section division:

Under 50,000

Daily

Albuquerque Tribune, Birmingham Post-Herald, Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette, Gaston (N.C.) Gazette, Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star, La Crosse (Wis.) Tribune, Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Sun News, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald.

Sunday

Anniston (Ala.) Star, Athens (Ga.) Daily News/Banner-Herald, Bremerton (Wash.) Sun, Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier-News, Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, Jackson (Tenn.) Sun, Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Sun News, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times.

Special sections

Albuquerque Tribune, Arlington (Texas) Morning News, Bremerton (Wash.) Sun, Davis (Calif.) Enterprise, Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star, Medina County (Ohio) Gazette, Northwest Florida Daily News, Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Stamford (Conn.) Advocate.

Page Design

Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call (best in circulation category). Others: Albuquerque Tribune, Amarillo (Texas) Daily News, Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail, Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier-News, Decatur (Ala.) Daily, Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star, Medina County (Ohio) Gazette, Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph, St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press.

50,000-175,000

Daily

Akron Beacon Journal, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Gannett Suburban Newspapers (White Plains, N.Y.), Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Munster (Ind.) Times, Raleigh News and Observer, Record (Hackensack, N.J.), San Francisco Examiner, Tacoma News Tribune, Wichita Eagle.

Sunday

Akron Beacon Journal, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Munster (Ind.) Times, Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa), Raleigh News and Observer, Record (Hackensack, N.J.), San Francisco Examiner, Tacoma News Tribune.

Special sections

Akron Beacon Journal, Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, Durham Herald-Sun, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Munster (Ind.) Times, Raleigh News and Observer, San Francisco Examiner, Syracuse Herald-Journal/Post-Standard, Tucson Citizen, Wichita Eagle.

Page Design

Munster (Ind.) Times (best in circulation category). Others: Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Baton Rouge Advocate, Connecticut Post (Bridgeport), Flint (Mich.) Journal, Raleigh News and Observer, Spokane Spokesman-Review, Washington Times, Wichita Eagle.

Over 175,000

Daily

Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, New York Times, Philadelphia Daily News, USA Today, Washington Post.

Sunday

Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, New York Daily News, Orange County Register, Washington Post.

Special Sections

Dallas Morning News, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Houston Chronicle, Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Daily News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Post.

Page Design

Palm Beach Post (best in circulation category). Others: Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit News, Hartford Courant, Houston Chronicle, Kansas City Star, Orange County Register, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA Today.

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