Five Mirror staff members take first-place honors

Blitz publication also garners top recognition

The Altoona Mirror staff has earned recognition in several state and national awards competitions.

Individual first-place recipients at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Press Association included Michael Boytim, Cory Giger, Cherie Hicks and Russell O’Reilly.

Boytim, a member of the sports staff, won first place in the personality profile category. Boytim also won second place in sports event coverage and an honorable mention in sports event coverage.

Giger, a member of the sports staff, won first place in the sports story category.

O’Reilly, the Mirror’s education reporter, won first place for news beat reporting.

Hicks, a member of the life department, was recognized for feature beat reporting.

The Mirror’s Blitz publication won first place for niche publication. The preseason high school football magazine, entering its fifth year, is largely coordinated by Mirror Sports Editor Buck Frank, Assistant Sports Editor Philip Cmor, contributing writer John Hartsock and the Mirror photo staff.

Scott Franco won an honorable mention in the column writing category, and the Mirror staff was recognized with an honorable mention for editorial writing.

The PNA awards were presented during the association’s annual press conference in Lancaster on May 21.

In addition, Giger and reporter Bill Kibler won first place at the annual Western Pennsylvania Press Club’s Golden Quill awards banquet in Pittsburgh on May 25.

Giger won for sports story, and Kibler won in both the environmental and life categories.

Kibler was also a Golden Quill finalist for three other awards. Other Mirror finalists included Boytim (education category) and reporter Sean Sauro (history category) along with graphic artists Lindsey Shinn and Jon Hodge.

The Associated Press Sports Editors recognized Giger for top-10 status in its breaking news category as well as the Mirror’s Sunday sports section, which was accorded top-10 status.

The APSE recognition marks the 15th consecutive year the Mirror sports staff has been recognized.