Penn State places two entries in top 5 of sports journalism contest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State was the only school to place two entries in the top 10 of the inaugural Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) Student Sports Journalism Contest.

Garrett Ross and Erin McCarthy, who each earned journalism degrees in May, finished third and fourth, respectively, in the national competition. Each entry included a feature, breaking news, enterprise, multimedia or video, and a wild-card submission.

“It already had been a good year for the Curley Center on the awards front, with top finishes in the Keystone, Mark of Excellence Northeast Region and Hearst contests,” said John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. “To score two top-five finishers in the APSE student contest is a terrific achievement. Congratulations to Garrett and Erin.”

Ross, now a copy editor at POLITICO Pro, collected numerous accolades as a student. He earned honorable mention in the 2017 Keystone Press Awards and fourth place in the national William Randolph Hearst Journalism Awards Program for a story about the challenges faced by single-amputee runners at the Paralympics as technology gives an edge to double-amputee opponents. In 2016, he earned first place in the sports story category of the Keystone Press Awards and was selected for the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Internship Program. Ross won a scholarship from the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation in 2015.

Here’s the work Ross submitted for the contest:

McCarthy, a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, also had an award-winning year. Her analysis of Penn State football recruiting over the past decade, developed in a sports-data reporting class, won first place for sports writing in the 2017 Student Keystone Press Awards and third in the Hearst Program. In 2016, she placed third overall in the Hearst Program national writing championship. Separately, McCarthy also became the sixth Penn State student to win a scholarship from the Memorial Foundation, which is given for an outstanding piece of opinion writing in a national competition.

Here’s the work she submitted for the contest:

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism — established in 2003 as the first academic endeavor of its kind in U.S. higher education and housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications — explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research. The center was named in 2006 for John Curley, the retired president, CEO and chairman of the Gannett Co. Inc. and the first editor of USA Today. Curley also served as a founding co-director of the center.

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