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Award winners Sweepstakes: Nolan Clay, "Dying Too Young" series. Photography Sweespstakes: John Clanton. The Oklahoman staff took first place in Spot Sports Reporting for coverage of the University of Oklahoma's appearance in the 2009 BCS Championship football game against Florida. Other first place winners were: Nolan Clay, Public Service Reporting Clay led the coverage of a package titled "Dying Too Young," an analysis of the deaths of hundreds of Oklahoma children in 2006 and 2007 for reasons as varied as illness, abuse and car accidents. Don Mecoy, Business Spot News Reporting, Business Feature Reporting Mecoy won two first place awards. One was for a story about chemical company Tronox filing for bankruptcy after claiming it could not cope with the debt of its former parent company, Kerr-McGee. Mecoy also won a first place for a feature story on FaithShares Trust, a financial company aimed at attracting Christians seeking investments that don't conflict with the tenets of their faith. Ken Raymond, Feature Writing, Sports Feature Writing Raymond won two first place awards for his feature writing. The first award-winning series was "Life is Real," in which Raymond reported the ongoing struggles of a man suffering from terminal cancer. The subject of the stories, Norman author Jim Chastain, died in December. Raymond also won in the Sports Feature Writing category for "Ring Masters," about Oklahoma City's local professional wrestling scene. Berry Tramel, Sports Columns Tramel won for a column about Christian Heritage baseball coach Clint Littlejim. As a teenager, Littlejim drove drunk and killed a woman. He was given a second chance when the victim's husband requested he not go to jail. Littlejim took advantage of the second chance and uses his story and life experience as a lesson for the kids he coaches. Carrie Coppernoll, Personal Columns Coppernoll took on a year-long series of columns about volunteering that won her a first place. The columns, titled "A year of giving," featured her experience working with a variety of non-profit groups on projects. In one of the winning columns, Coppernoll wrote about working with the Alzheimer's Association, which brought up fears and memories of her own experience losing a grandmother to the disease. Amy Raymond, Page One Deadline Layout Raymond won for her layout of the "Dying Too Young" package. Raymond illustrated the front page story with small photos of more than 30 of the children profiled in the package, along with a timeline showing how the number of child deaths in the state has changed over the years. Vallery Brown, Best New Journalist Brown works on The Oklahoman's Watchdog desk. Her work in 2009 included stories about a county sheriff who lost his job after providing alcohol to a teenager, overcharging on medical bills and telemarketer scams. David McDaniel, Spot News Photo Sarah Phipps, Sports Photo, Feature Photo, Photo Package John Clanton, General News Photo
Investigative Reporting: Vallery Brown, second; Randy Ellis, third
Public Service Reporting: Ron Jackson and John Clanton, honorable mention Business Spot News Reporting: Steve Lackmeyer, third Business Feature Writing: Don Mecoy, third Spot News Reporting: The Oklahoman staff, honorable mention General News Reporting: Ron Jackson, second Spot Sports Reporting: Jake Trotter, third Sports Columns: Jenni Carlson, third Personal Columns: J.E. McReynolds, third Non-Page One Layout: Matt Clayton, second Page One Deadline Layout: Matt Clayton, second Headlines: Erica Smith, third Graphics/Illustrations: Phillip Baeza, second Spot News Photo: Chris Landsberger, second; John Clanton, third; Jim Beckel, honorable mention Sports Photo: David McDaniel, honorable mention General News Photo: Sarah Phipps, third; Chris Landsberger, honorable mention Feature Photo: Paul B. Southerland, third; Paul Hellstern, honorable mention Photo Package: Bryan Terry, third Web Site Photo: Chris Landsberger, second; Sarah Phipps, third