LAWRENCE — Senior Lindsay Gilmore capped off her high school journalism career Saturday by receiving an Honorable Mention in News Writing in the Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest, which took place at the University of Kansas.
Earning this honor makes Gilmore one of the state’s top six news writers in the 3A/4A division.
“It should be noted, though, most of the other top finishers in her category were from 4A schools,” journalism adviser Todd Vogts said. “So, really, she’s one of the top two news writers in 3A.”
Gilmore’s placing earned Sterling High School one point in the overall sweeps competition. Sweeps points are earned by students placing in each category. A 1st Place is worth five points, a 2nd Place is worth four points, a 3rd Place is worth three points, and an Honorable Mention is worth one point. Points are broken down by Kansas State High School Athletic Association size classifications, so Sterling competed against other 3A schools for the sweeps title.
“Obviously we came up short, especially considering the winner scored 25 points,” Vogts said. “However, I’m glad we at least got on the board.”
For the past two years, Sterling had taken second in the 3A sweeps competition, so Vogts said his journalists had some work to do.
“We need to regroup and refocus,” he said. “Without using too many sports metaphors, we took our eyes off the ball. We need to take extra steps next year to put all our efforts into what we are doing. This was just an off year. We will rally and get back to our previous level. Ideally, we will come back from this defeat even stronger and take a run at the perennial powerhouse in our division.”
For the State Contest, eight students competed in a total of 15 events against schools from both 3A and 4A after earning a spot at State by placing at the Regional Contest held in February. Of those, 14 entries were Digital Submissions, which entailed students producing photos and designs prior to the competition. Gilmore was the only student competing in an on-site contest, which required her to write a news story during the day of the contest.
Other Black Bears competing at State included seniors Will Dutton and Lexi Rose, juniors Raegan Mantz and Taya Wilson, sophomores Morgan Anderson and Grace Rowland, and freshman Abby Riffel.
Prior to the day’s competitions, the Black Bears were awarded a plaque proclaiming the All-Kansas News Publication designation the 2016-17 Cub Reporter Magazine received in April.
“It was great to receive that recognition for the hard work the magazine staff had put in over the course of the year,” Vogts said. “Hopefully next year we can do that again, as well as get All-Kansas for the yearbook and place better in State. It’s a whole new year, and a largely new staff. We are going to make some adjustments and set ourselves up for more success next year. Our seniors will be missed greatly. They’ve been huge assets to our program, and they will leave big shoes to fill. However, I am confident the staffers will step up to the challenge and lead us well. I’m looking forward to next year. It should be a good time.”