The Torch, Lane Community College’s student newspaper, won 25 awards, including the top prize, in the annual Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Collegiate Newspaper Contest.

This was the fourth time since 2009 that The Torch took home a first-place award for general excellence, the highest honor a college newspaper can receive from the ONPA. The Torch, which is funded through the student activity fee, is in its 50th year.

Three from The Torch won more than one award. Photo Editor Eugene Johnson won five awards, including best sports and feature photos. Former reporter Taya Alami won four, including best writing. Sports Editor Jarrid Denney won two, including second place in the best-section contest.

“We’ve had a rough year, and it was good to see everybody’s hard work pay off in a big way,” Editor-in-Chief Alyssa Sutton said.

But it was reporter Laura Newman’s first-place prize for her editorial, which stressed the need for cultural-competency training among Lane’s staff, that called the contest’s importance into focus, Sutton said.

“She had never written an article before, let alone an editorial, and then took first in that category,” Sutton said. “It’s good to get feedback from professionals in the industry, assuring us that we’re doing something right.”

The winners were announced May 9 at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany.