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2 UMES bowlers earn All-America honors

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014

     Megan Buja wins her 3rd "Elite 89" award

    WICKLIFFE, Ohio - (April 10, 2014) - UMES scholar-athletes Mariana Alvarado and Megan Buja are All-America honorees in recognition of their performances as elite collegiate bowlers during the just-completed 2013-14 season. 

    2014 Bowling All-America honoreesAlvarado and Buja were among 15 women receiving the coveted honor at Wednesday's NCAA Awards Banquet as eight teams gathered in the Cleveland suburbs here to compete in this weekend's national championship tournament.

    UMES, a three-time NCAA champion, is the fourth seed in the tournament heading into Thursday's preliminary round.

    Buja, who has a perfect 4.0 grade point average, also garnered her third straight "Elite 89" award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA from a team at the championship final site. It is the most prestigious academic award the NCAA gives out.

    This is the fourth consecutive year UMES won the "Elite" award; alumnus Kristina Frahm, a former bowler and coach, earned the honor in 2011.

    Alvarado, a junior from Mexico, earned second-team All-America honors after being an honorable mention a year ago. Buja, who is from Rockford, Ill., capped her four-year career by being named a third-team selection, her first.

    Buja and Alvarado had sensational years on the lanes and in the classroom. Both were named First-Team All-Conference and were members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship All-Tournament Team. Most Outstanding Performer honors went to Alvarado.

    The duo was recognized a week ago by UMES faculty with awards for being the top-performing students in their respective academic departments.

    Buja, the team's lone senior and an Academic All-American, averaged just under 200 (pins per game) for the season, earned two MEAC Player of the Week honors, was a pre-season All-MEAC selection and a two-time All-Tournament Team selection.  Statistically, her senior year was the best of her stellar four-year career.

    Alvarado averaged a 199 in the regular season, won the high-game award at the Hawk Classic, averaged a 207 in Baker-format games and had a pair of MEAC Bowler of the Week honors.

    "It has been a great season for our whole team and especially for these two outstanding young women," coach Kayla Bandy said.  "I am so honored to have had the opportunity to coach them this year and am proud of how well they represent our program, department and university."

    Article and photo courtesy of the UMES athletics department