TORRINGTON – Torrington Telegram Staff Writer Alex Hargrave and Sports Editor Andrew Towne were honored as award winners at last week’s 122nd Annual Wyoming Press Association (WPA) Annual Convention.
The convention’s Pacemaker Awards and Associates Awards were presented on Friday, Jan. 15, while the Major Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, Jan. 16. Both ceremonies were conducted using the Zoom web-based telecon-
Towne was named the Small Weekly Photographer of the Year and received both first place and honorable mention in the Pacemakers Awards’ small weeklies sports action category. Hargrave was awarded a first-place Pacemaker Award in the small weeklies in-depth reporting category.
The judges noted, “‘Defend the Sacred’ looks extensively at individual philosophies and motives that make up a progressive group of small town residents in a rural setting. The mix of voices and background earns this entry first place in the in-depth reporting category.”
Towne’s photograph “Tigers sweep Wheatland” was the first place winner. The judges said, “The home-stealing photo really amps up my blood pressure and anxiety. Was he safe or called out? Great job capturing what was likely a pivotal moment in the game, and one that really amped up the crowd and teams.”
Towne’s photograph “Tigers open season” was awarded as the honorable mention. The judges noted, “Another great baseball shot. This photo makes me feel like I’m at a ball game.”
Torrington Telegram Publisher Rob Mortimore expressed his pride in Hargrave and Towne’s accomplishments.
“Alex has done great things in her very short career,” Mortimore said. “For her to be among the top journalists in the state is a testament to her work ethic and desire for quality, honest journalism. I expect more great things from her in the future.”
“Andrew has established himself as one of the best sports journalists and photographers this state has to offer. His passion for Goshen County athletes is evident in his work. We are truly lucky to have both these individuals here in Torrington, representing our communities.”
The WPA awards ceremonies were held toward the end of the virtually-hosted annual convention, which began on Jan. 5. Journalists from across the state and region convened for a slew of informative classes and meetings throughout the event.
Among the class presenters was Goshen County native Ruth Van Mark. Van Mark informed participants about the role she fulfills as Wyoming’s first Public Records Ombudsman, appointed by Governor Mark Gordon. Van Mark provided participants with a general knowledge of public records and provided an overview of the processes involved in obtaining government documents.
In addition to WPA’s classes, convention attendees were granted access to the University of Wyoming’s (UW) community journalism classes online. WPA participants learned about journalism’s evolving landscape and provided insight to future journalists attending class at UW. The interactions provided for a mutually beneficial exchange between journalism students and professionals.