The television news anchor race is adding some zest to this year's local Emmy Awards competition.

Tracey Neale, the former WTTG lead co-anchor who defected to WUSA this year, will vie for the title of best news anchor with her former colleague and possible successor at the Fox affiliate, Shawn Yancy. Neale, who is likely to debut on the Channel 9 airwaves this summer, is seeking her third straight Emmy.

Mary Beth Marsden of Baltimore's WMAR is also nominated in the best anchor category.

For the fifth straight year, WTTG had the most nominations, which were announced Monday night, with 32. As in years past, the station also submitted the most entries (90), far exceeding any of its competitors.

Yancy, who co-anchors WTTG's early morning news, and weekend anchor Laura Evans are in the running to replace Neale as co-anchor of the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts, according to news director Katherine Green. Although Green is considering candidates from outside, she said she is an advocate of "promoting from within."

Comcast SportsNet received 12 nominations, the most in the history of the Bethesda-based sports network, out of its 44 entries. WJLA also took home a dozen nominations from its 53 submissions.

WUSA received nine nominations and WRC four; PBS stations MPT and WETA received 11 and five nominations, respectively.

Entries were down for the second year, illustrating continued belt-tightening at the stations. This year 619 entries were submitted, 30 fewer than last year and nearly 100 fewer than in 2002.

WTTG weathercaster Tom Sater, who has won four consecutive Emmys, was not nominated this year, but WTTG's Gwen Tolbart and Sue Palka are both up for the prize.

WTTG's Dave Feldman is the only nominee in the category of best sportscaster.

In the battle of the newscasts, WRC will go head-to-head with WTTG for best sunrise show. WTTG's 5 p.m. news will duel with newcomer "USA Tonight" on WUSA.

The winners will be announced June 12 at a ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Tracey Neale, left, and Shawn Yancy, who could replace her, are nominated for the same award.