The rising sun gives a rich glow to clouds hanging above Pikes Peak in this undated photo. (Mark Reis, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The Colorado Sun won more than two dozen awards in the four-state Top of the Rockies journalism contest this weekend, receiving more recognition than any other Colorado news organization in its category.

The Sun, competing in the “extra-large newsroom” category despite being less than half the size of many of its peers, earned 28 awards overall, including nine first-place honors in the contest sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Colorado Public Radio received 11 awards overall in the same category, as did the combined Colorado Springs Gazette and Denver Gazette.

Seventy-five media outlets plus a dozen freelance journalists from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico entered this year’s contest, submitting 1,507 entries, the SPJ said.

The organization also recognized Sun Editor Larry Ryckman as Colorado journalist of the year. Ryckman spearheaded the launch of The Sun in 2018 and has overseen its expansion from the original 10 journalists to a staff of 25. Additionally, the SPJ noted that he negotiated The Sun’s acquisition, with backing from the National Trust for Local News, of the more than 20 local metro publications that comprise Colorado Community Media

The Sun stories and journalists honored by the journalism organization were:

First place

Second place

Third place

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