The Kansas City Star’s two sports columnists accomplished something rare in sports journalism this week when they were recognized as Top 10 in the country by judges in the Associated Press Sports Editors’ annual contest in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Works by Sam Mellinger and Vahe Gregorian were chosen as exceptional among entries from newspapers and websites in APSE’s largest circulation category, which includes such organizations as the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN and Yahoo.
Links to Mellinger’s and Gregorian’s winning five-part entries are included at the end of this story. This is the second time Mellinger has won the award and Gregorian’s first. Gregorian also repeated this week as the top sports columnist in the annual Missouri Associated Press Media Editors’ contest.
Also honored by APSE this year were Rustin Dodd’s breaking news entry for The Star on Ben Zobrist and family celebrating the Chicago Cubs’ World Series championship in the wee hours in Cleveland and a large-scale project entry The Star produced on the Royals entering the 2016 season.
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The Star’s four Top 10s in APSE’s writing categories bring its total to 59 Top 10s for writing entries since 1999.
The Star also made Top 10 for its Sunday section coverage, marking the 18th straight year that Sports Daily has won a Top 10 section award.
A couple other award notes before we get to Mellinger and Gregorian’s winning column entries:
▪ Kellis Robinett, the K-State beat writer The Star “shares” with the Wichita Eagle, claimed a Top 10 in feature writing for this story on the Wildcats’ iconic football uniforms.
▪ Ashley Scoby took first place in the Missouri APME contest’s sports feature-writing category for this moving story on former KU rower Daisy Tackett, and Dodd took second in the same category for this story on Wade Davis’ great escape with the Royals.
▪ Scoby, Mara’ Williams and Jesse Newell placed second in APME’s “spot sports” category for this piece on the football player accused of raping Tackett being removed from the team at Indiana State.
▪ The top two spots in “best sports photo” in the Missouri APME contest went to a pair of Star shooters: John Sleezer and colleague Rich Sugg.
Here are the links to Mellinger’s winning entries:
Gregorian’s winning entries included:
▪ A look at the KC Police Department’s Police Athletic League;
▪ The story of J’den Cox of Mizzou winning a wrestling medal in Rio;