- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Jimmy Golen won two writing awards in the annual contest for AP staffers judged by Associated Press Sports Editors at their winter meeting.

Golen won story of the year honors for his work on the Boston Marathon. Golen also won the Grimsley Award for body of work.

“I need to run” is brilliant in its simplicity and has such profound meaning. This story, which resonates with so many who were affected on that tragic April afternoon in 2013, gives readers a terrific sense of the human spirit at its finest,” said Scott Thurston, senior assistant sports editor for The Boston Globe.

Other contest winners included Eddie Pells, deadline writing; Tim Dahlberg, feature writing; Janie McCauley for enterprise.

Photo awards went to Jae C. Hong, best portfolio; Matthias Schrader, best action photo; and Manu Fernandez, best feature photo.

Golen’s body of work included stories on Derek Jeter and gambling.

“The entry featured a variety of stories with good writing and strong ideas. Stories were not overwritten,” said Tom O’Toole, assistant managing sports editor at USA Today. “The piece on a year after the marathon was arguably the best single story we read, and a good example of strong storytelling. This could have turned maudlin but the reporter avoided that.”

Pells won deadline writing for his story on Shaun White finishing fourth at the Sochi Games.

McCauley’s story on how Major League Baseball teams deal with the language barrier was praised by the judges for its approach and execution on an unusual topic.

“This is a pitch-perfect, insightful look at baseball’s language barrier, an aspect of the sport that most fans take for granted,” Thurston said. “This wonderfully told story truly appeals to casual and hardcore fans alike.”

Dahlberg’s feature on Muhammad Ali was a unanimous choice.

“We thought the writer boiled down an iconic career by highlighting the importance of one of Ali’s crowning achievements and providing historical context in terms of society and culture at the time it occurred in American history,” said Andi Petrini, Sports Editor, Daily Press. “Solid editing, writing and attention to detail. Even people familiar with Ali’s career could learn something from this 50-year look back.”

Hong, a photographer based in Los Angeles, won the AP’s Thomas V. diLustro award for best portfolio for his diverse package that included MLB Baseball, MLS, NCAA Basketball, Horse Racing features and also a package/photo essay on the Sochi Olympics.

Scharder, based in Germany, won best action photo for his shot of four airborne Olympians competing in the ski cross race at the Sochi Games.

Fernandez, based in Spain, won for his feature photo for of Real’s Gareth Bale celebrating scoring his second goal during the Champions League final.

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