Daily Herald photojournalist John Starks took first place in the sports action category in the National Press Photographers Association's annual Best of Photography contest.
Starks' photo of a jockey jumping from his horse as the horse broke its leg in August at the finish line of the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse in August rose to the top over hundreds of other photos from around he country.
"The photograph of jockey William Buick coming off his horse was surprising and suspenseful, something we had never seen before," contest judge Michael King said. "Credit the photographer for capturing the moment and including compelling information."
"We're so proud of the great work John continues to do for our readers," Daily Herald Editor John Lampinen said.
All of the annual contest winners can be seen at http://competitions.nppa.org/best-of-photojournalism/.
Starks and several other Daily Herald photojournalists also were recognized recently in the NPPA's monthly regional contests.
Steve Lundy placed first in January in the General News category for a photo of a man dashing out of the frigid waters of Lake Michigan after the Polar Bear Plunge.
In the February contest, four Daily Herald photojournalists placed.
John Starks took second place in the General News category for a photo of a girl at Elgin's Black History Family Fest.
Brian Hill took third place in the Portrait category for a photo of a woman who was shot and nearly killed in the 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University.
Joe Lewnard took third place in the Sports Action category for a photo of players grappling over a loose basketball.
Dan White took third place in the Sports Feature category for a coach celebrating a win with a basketball net on his head.