Daily Cal sports writers reap college journalism awards

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Alumni of the Daily Cal sports desk have gone on to the likes of Sports Illustrated and the San Francisco Chronicle.

This latest batch might just conquer them all.

The Daily Californian won 23 awards by the California College Media Association (CCMA) at Saturday’s award ceremony, including first-place for General Newspaper Excellence and General Web Site Excellence. Among those were  three awards to Daily Cal sports writers Jack Wang and Katie Dowd.

Jack, who served as sports editor in spring 2011, won first-place best sports story for “The other side,” his Nov. 18 feature on the football team’s graduate assistants.

Katie, who was sports editor the previous spring and now works as a sports producer for SFGate, won two awards for “Scar Tissue,” her emotional April 4 feature on Cal baseball star Tony Renda: second-place sportswriting and first-place feature writing.

These awards are coming on the heels of two other awards for Jack and Katie. “Scar Tissue” also won first-place sports writing by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), which honors the country’s best collegiate journalism. Jack won third place but for a different article – “Go father, go further,” his poignant Nov. 11 feature on Cal wide receiver Marvin Jones becoming a father. They won in the western region that includes California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada.

Jack and Katie have been respected figures at the sports desk and throughout The Daily Californian for years — now they have been recognized as the best college-age sports writers and feature writers on the West Coast.

My friends tease me for crying during moving stories — whether they be movies, TV shows or newspaper articles — but it’s hard not to tear up when reading Katie detail Renda’s relationship with his father before and after his death, or Jack describe Jones holding his two sons.

Katie has been known to preach that every new story is a new opportunity to achieve perfection. Well I say that each story a Daily Cal staffer writes — or any college student writes — is a new opportunity to be like Jack and Katie.

Mazel tov!