PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.), a sophomore at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2012 NCAA Division I women's bowling championship.
Buja, majoring in human ecology and dietetics, currently carries a 4.0 GPA. She was presented with the award during the women's bowling banquet last Wednesday before the start of the 2012 NCAA Championships in Cleveland.
"Winning was a very pleasant surprise. It is the last award they present at the banquet on Wednesday night and I was not expecting it. I am very honored to have won the Elite 89 Award and be recognized for both academics and athletics," Buja said recently in an interview.
Buja carries on a tradition now as current head coach and player last season Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill.) won the award last season. She would go on to win the NCAA Championship as a player in 2011.
"I was so honored to win this last year and now I am very honored that Megan has won it," said Frahm. "I know firsthand what it takes to be a bowler and succeed academically and Megan has the personality and determination to maintain this. She is a shining example of a true student-athlete. In two seasons' she has won two NCAA Championships and has a 4.0. You can't argue with that success."
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student- athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship.
All ties are broken by the number of credits completed. For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite89.