Tribune staffer captures first place in Associated Press Sports Editors contest for feature writing

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Staff photos of the Salt Lake Tribune staff. Courtney Tanner.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Courtney Tanner won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors contest for feature writing, the organization announced Friday.

Tanner’s story about a Utah high school lacrosse team rocked by a pair of suicides, and the coach and community’s efforts to hold the team together, resonated with APSE judges, who chose it over more than 100 entries nationally in the "B" category for midsize newspapers.

Tanner, who covers education for The Tribune, earned the top honor out of seven awards won by the newspaper in the APSE contest.

The Tribune was named one of the nation’s Top Ten Sunday sports sections, and earned another Top Ten award for its sports website in its category, which includes newspapers with print circulations between 38,000 and 82,999.

Tribune writers won four other APSE Top Ten awards.

Longtime Tribune sports columnist Gordon Monson won his third Top Ten in the past six years in the sports columns category.

Reporter Andy Larsen and Tribune alum Christopher Kamrani teamed up for a Top Ten story in the explanatory category about the poor reputation of Utah Jazz fans around the NBA following the ugly, racially-tinged run-in between a fan and former Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, and how the team went all-out to address the problem.

And reporter Tony Semerad and Kamrani won another Top Ten in the explanatory category for their story about the potential impacts of climate change on Utah’s quest for a second Winter Olympics.

Tanner, who has worked at The Tribune since 2016, earned Top Ten honors in the feature writing category before taking home the first-place award.