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Photo courtesy Aaron Finkel
Jennifer Yu, one of the finalists from Queens in the "What Sportsmanship Mean to Me" essay writing competition.

Three students from Queens were among the winners of New York Sports Connection’s first annual New York City student sportsmanship essay contest, “What Sportsmanship Means to Me.”

The students were tasked with writing original 400- to 500-word essays on the topic of what sportsmanship means to them. The submissions were anonymously judged on originality, emotional appeal, use of the theme, grammar, spelling and writing skills. Entries were received from all five boroughs, and the finalists were selected from 10 different NYC public and private schools.

“We were overwhelmed by the response and impressed by the wonderful quality of the many essays we received,” said Aaron Finkel, New York Sports Connection founder.

Sifan Lu, 17, a Forest Hills resident and student at Stuyvesant High School, won the 11th- and 12th-grade category. Xavier High School student, Connor Mulvena, 16, a resident of Glendale, was named a finalist in that category.

Forest Hills resident Jennifer Yu, 15, was a finalist among the ninth- and 10th-graders. She is a ninth-grader at Stuyvesant Tech in Manhattan.

As a category winner, Lu will receive a $500 prize. Mulvena and Yu will each receive $100 for being finalists in their categories.

The essays were judged by a celebrity panel of judges, including WFAN radio sports talk personality Craig Carton; former New York Mets relief pitcher and team captain John Franco; Mike Puma, a sportswriter with the New York Post; and Luis Fernando Llosa, former Sports Illustrated associate editor.

“It was an honor to help judge New York Sports Connection’s First Annual Youth Essay Contest,” Franco said. “The essays submitted by the finalists showed a level of maturity way beyond their years, and were a testament to the amazing work done by parents, coaches and volunteers to ensure that our kids’ youth sports experience teaches real life lessons.”

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