By JACK SHEPPARD, Times sports editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 9, 2002
For the third time in four years, the Florida Sports Writers Association has rated the Times sports section as the best in Florida among major newspapers.
The Times finished first in the General Excellence category for newspapers with circulations more than 175,000, the only Tampa Bay area paper to finish in the top three.
Several Times sports writers and editors were honored for their work in 2001. Baseball writer Kevin Kelly, who last year covered auto racing, won first in Event Coverage for his report from the NASCAR race in Rockingham the week after Dale Earnhardt's death at Daytona. Columnist Gary Shelton won second in Sports Column Writing for pieces on Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp and Shelton's visit to his mother's grave. Sunday Sports Editor Anthony Perez won second in Page Design. And Keith Niebuhr won third in News Coverage for a story about the lack of state records for traditionally black high schools.