Contest W8: Yearbook Sports Writing


You will be writing a yearbook sports story. The story should be approximately 400 words. With the aid of computers this year, we are able to enforce this. Please do not write longer than the word limit.

Please use the information provided below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and/or the Associated Press style manual. Only entries submitted online will be accepted. No exceptions will be made to this rule.

When you submit, you will simply be submitting plain text. Formatting such as italics, bold and underline will not transfer. Also, paragraph breaks will not transfer. To show the judge your intention to create a paragraph break, please use this double-backslash symbol: //  For instance, a passage with two paragraph breaks would look like this:

The school board reversed the policy with an 11-1 vote. // “I disagreed with the decision, but I lost this time,” said board president Yvonnes Nulton. // The policy will go into effect at the start of next school year.




This contest is meant to be completed individually. Please refrain from seeking help from others while completing this contest.

Failure to follow these directions may result in disqualification from the contest without refund. Please read and follow carefully. 

  1. Read over the prompt presented below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story.
  2. While writing, you may use resources like the AP Stylebook, an online style guide or a dictionary/thesaurus. 
  3. Use whatever technology works best for you while writing your draft. This could be pencil and paper, your cell phone, your computer, etc. Do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
  4. Do not include your name or your school’s name anywhere on your final draft.
  5. Type up the final version of your story and submit it here.
  6. Please do not share your draft, notes or ideas about the prompt with others until after the competition deadline.

Here is a link to this contest’s judging rubric.


You are a member of Sunflower High School’s journalism staff. Your editor has asked you to edit the following story and coverage.


  • Name: Sunflower High School
  • Location: Clinton, Kansas
  • Mascot: Mighty Buffalo
  • Enrollment: 800 (grades 9-12)
  • School colors: yellow and brown
  • Yearbook: The Sunflower
  • Newspaper: Sunflower News

Contest Info

  • This is an on-site contest. 
  • Do not put your name on the entry. If you do, your entry will be disqualified.
  • Students must not request help or advice from any person other than the KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas at [email protected], and that advice must be requested before the start of the contest.
  • All work must be solely that of the contestant.

Prompts will be visible at 3 p.m. Feb. 19.

Contest W8

Facts from your research

  • The Sunflower High Varsity Girls Cross Country team qualified for state during the Regional qualifying race on October 13, 2020
  • The Regional race was almost cancelled due to rain. The rainfall for that day was 5 inches. Many of the runners lost shoes in the mud and either stopped to get them or ran the rest of the race barefoot. 
  • Brittany Buessing lost both her shoes during the race and only recovered one after she finished 
  • A few fans attempted to watch the race, but left before it began.
  • Sunflower High School placed first in the Girls Regional race, with runners Carly Davis (freshman), Brittany Buessing (senior) and Adia Summer (junior) placing first, second and third. Danielle Dewey (senior) placed fifth.
  • Carly Davis finished with a time of 20:32.2, Brittany Buessing finished with a time of 20:55.9, Adia Summer with a time of 21:04.1, and Danielle Dewey with a time of 21:17.3. Given the conditions of the course, these times were very impressive. 
  • The state championship race took place on October 30, 2020 in Augusta, KS on a 5,000 meter (3.1 miles) course. 
  • The day of the state championship was sunny and 60°. The course was overall dry and in great running condition. 
  • The fans were limited due to COVID regulations. Each runner was allowed one family member to watch the race. The race coordinators, coaches and athletic trainers were the only other non-participants allowed to come. Teammates who did not qualify for the race were not allowed to support the team in person. 
  • The girls from Sunflower High who ran in the state race were Carly Davis, Brittany Buessing, Adia Summer, Danielle Dewey, Rachel Rothman and Beatrice Norris.
  • Sunflower High did not place at the state competition. 
  • Carly Davis placed 31th with a time of 19:51.7, Brittany Buessing placed 40th with a time of 20:18.9, Danielle Dewey placed 51st with a time of 20:45.7, and Adia Summer placed 58th with a time of 20:50.1



From Carly Davis, freshman

“I’m really frustrated with my performance at Regional and State. Those were my two slowest races all season and they were back to back. I’m happy I’m a freshman because I’ll get three more years to prove myself.”

“I’ve already started training for next season. I even set a new personal record! My new personal record — which I set since the end of the season — is 19:15.4.” 

From Brittany Buessing, senior and co-captain of the cross country team 

“When I felt my first shoe come off during the Regional race I had to make a split second decision on whether to pick it up or leave it. I could hear the girl behind me getting closer so I decided to keep running. Then, shortly after, my next shoe fell off and I finished barefoot. Looking back, it was actually really funny. That’s definitely a memory I’ll cherish forever.” 

“This definitely isn’t how I wanted to end my senior season. I’m disappointed we didn’t do better at State, but we had a great season together regardless.” 

From Adia Summer, junior 

“To be honest, I’m not surprised we did so poorly at State. The captains took our last practice to do team bonding instead of training harder. Why do we need team bonding? We just spent every day of the last 12 weeks together. Next year, when I’m captain, we won’t waste time on stupid stuff like that.”

“The fact that they didn’t reschedule the Regional race still baffles me. Sure, we did good, but I’ve never seen that many people slipping in mud trying to run up a hill.”

From Danielle Dewey, senior 

“Sure, I’m bummed about the results from State, but I was just happy to be there. What better way to leave your senior year than competing in State?” 

“I’m so excited to see how Carly progresses the next three years. She is so talented and the hardest worker I know.” 

“There was definitely some negativity on the team this year. I think the combination of things changing with COVID and having to work so hard for this sport can really bring people down. I didn’t let it affect me, though.” 

From Katherine Hansen, head coach 

“I really have to hand it to this group of girls. They worked so hard this season and were so accommodating to the changes we had to make with COVID. We didn’t get the results we wanted at State, but I think it has fueled them to work harder in the off season.” 

“Carly is definitely a rising star. If she keeps up this level of dedication, she could be a real contender for State in the next few years. I’m excited to work with her more throughout her high school career.” 

“The Regional race was a mess. In my 25 years of running, I’ve never seen a course that muddy. Runners were sliding down everywhere, everyone was drenched, many shoes were lost. Despite all of that, our team did amazing given the circumstances. The times were impressive even for a dry day of running. I’m really proud of their perseverance.” 

From Martina Cullen, senior and co-captain of the cross country team 

“My favorite memory of the season was our last practice. Instead of running, we surprised the girls with a team bonding day. We all went to my house and had a water balloon fight, then drank smoothies, watched Frozen 2, and shared our favorite moments from the season. I think we all agreed that Brittany losing both shoes at the Regional race was the highlight of the season.” 

“It was hard not being able to go to State and cheer on our team. Luckily, Coach Hansen updated us throughout the day.” 

Information from the season provided by coach Katherine Hansen 

Team Captains: 

Brittany Buessing (senior) 

Martina Cullen (senior) 

Most improved personal record: 

Grace Smith (sophomore) (25:17.8 to 23:55:6) 

Fastest time: 

Carly Davis (freshman) (19:19.5, 5000m)