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Newsday photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca snags top prize in photo contest

Newsday staff photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca.

Newsday staff photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca. Credit: Newsday

Newsday photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca took the top prize in the Sports Picture Story category in the 2020 Northern Short Course Photo and Multimedia Contest, contest officials said.

The eight-panel entry features Copiague High School girls varsity basketball player Amaya Williams, a double amputee who plays for the Lady Eagles with the help of two prosthetic legs.

"Alejandra’s pictures show Amaya Williams’ strength and courage in the face of adversity," said John Keating, Newsday's assistant managing editor for photography. "The images reveal her upbeat spirit and passion for the game. We are thrilled that Alejandra’s work has been recognized by the Northern Short Course judges."

Contest judges Sam Maller, Griselda San Martin and Elijah Sinclair finalized their decisions on the entries at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York on Feb. 7 and 8.

The annual contest is open to members of the National Press Photographer Association in the New England, New York/International and mid-Atlantic Regions.

Winners will be honored at an awards reception on March 7 at the Hyatt Regency Fairfax in Fairfax, Virginia, after the Northern Short Course, a three-day conference featuring “more than two dozen workshops on a variety of topics relevant to professionals and students in the field of visual journalism.” First-place winners will receive plaques, officials said.

The highly competitive contest drew entries in nearly two dozen categories including general news, international picture story, team multimedia, natural world and sports action from photographers at some of the nation's top media outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boston Globe.

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