Morning workout at sunrise in Belmont Park in Elmont Monday...

Morning workout at sunrise in Belmont Park in Elmont Monday June 28, 2021. A Day in the Life of Long Island Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Newsday photographer J. Conrad Williams Jr. won the sports photography category in the Sigma Delta Chi 2021 Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The award for his winning photo, titled "Morning Workout," was presented during a virtual ceremony Thursday.

The photo depicts two racehorses during a morning workout in Belmont Park in Elmont on June 28, 2021. A yellow sun is rising above the horizon and streaks of thin clouds spread across a brightening sky. The photo, taken low to the ground, frames a jockey on a horse through the legs of another racehorse. 

“It is a great honor for John to receive national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists," said John Keating, Newsday's director of multimedia newsgathering. "He is often at the racetrack at the crack of dawn, capturing the action and grace of racehorses going through their morning workouts. With beautiful morning light and perfect framing, all of the elements fall into place for an award-winning picture.”

During the ceremony, the judges honored the photo, saying, "You have the who, what and when in one frame, and the point of view adds to the beauty."

The Sigma Delta Chi Awards date back to 1932, when the society first honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the organization awarded the first Distinguished Service Awards. These awards later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

The awards recognize the best in professional journalism in categories covering print/online, audio, television and more.

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