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MT's Kris Henry earns national honor

Mail Tribune sports reporter Kris Henry has been recognized with a national award for best writing in a competition sponsored by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Henry was named a top-10 recipient during preliminary judging in February for the breaking news writing categories for 2018. On Thursday, the APSE announced that Henry finished as the national runner-up after a second round of judging involving the 10 finalists.

The breaking news story, published May 9, told the story of South Medford High baseball head coach Ray Smith being placed on leave from his coaching duties and job as campus monitor after an incident one night prior where Smith had consumed alcohol prior to coaching a baseball game.

Henry has covered the high school and collegiate sports scene in Southern Oregon for more than 20 years. He previously has received regional and state awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

The APSE competition includes newspapers of under 30,000 circulation and was judged by a panel of national sports editors.

Henry finished in second place with 49 total points and two of the six first-place votes.

Ron Wilkins and Nathan Baird of the Journal & Courier in Lafayette, Indiana, teamed up to write the winning entry, netting 51 points and three first-place votes. Chad Crippe of the Idaho Statesman joined Henry in earning 49 points and received one first-place vote.

The panelists selected the best writing in the categories of beat writing, columns, breaking news, features, projects, explanatory and investigative.

Winners will be recognized in the annual APSE national convention in June in Atlanta.

Mail Tribune sports reporter Kris Henry