Winner: Mark Malone, Chatham Daily News
A smushed cheek, a flexing biceps and a struggling opponent lift this high school wrestling photo right off the screen. Mark Malone clearly knows the visual story of wrestling lay in the facial expressions of its combatants, and this is an excellent example of knowing where to set up, and where to look.
There is nothing in the background. There is no hint of anyone else who might be in the gym. There are no fans, parents, friends nor coaches in the frame. The focus is strictly on the two wrestlers, which tells the viewer that, in this one very specific moment, these are the only two who warrant your attention.
Runner-up: Bob Tymczyszyn, St. Catharines Standard
Head bowed in hand, with two fingers wrapped in weathered athletic tape, the wrestler is clearly living a moment of profound personal meaning. Jessie MacDonald has just won at the Canadian trials, and it also happens to be her 35th birthday.
Photographer Bob Tymczyszyn isolates the athlete with her thoughts, framing her away from the action and the noise and allowing the viewer in close, with an unobstructed look into the raw emotion of one defining moment.
Runner-up: Brian Thompson, Brantford Expositor
All of the ongoing action is in the top half of the frame: With the ball-carrier sprinting ahead under the imminent threat of a would-be tackler. A different story is unfolding in the bottom half of the frame, where another rugby player is being left behind.
He is upside down and likely bleeding. Brian Thompson provides both narratives under a bright spring sky, highlighting both the grace and the brutality in a high school rugby match.