WICKLIFFE, Ohio- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) was awarded some hardware prior to their championship match-ups at the NCAA Awards Banquet during a presentation from the National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA), NCAA and the Cleveland Sports Commission.
The banquet is always held prior to the championships and awarded 25 exceptional young women out of almost 500 possible, with the All-America distinction.
UMES earned two of those spots; Mariana Alvarado (Leon Mexico) and Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) are two of the top 15 bowlers in the nation.
Alvarado earned second-team All-America honors while Buja earned her long overdue distinction of All-America with a Third-Team selection.
Buja also earned the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award for the third straight year. The award is 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. UMES has won this award for the fourth consecutive year.
Alvarado and Buja had amazing years. They both were named to First-Team All-Conference and the MEAC Championship All-Tournament Team, and Alvarado won the Most Outstanding Performer.
Buja, who has previous academic honors earned her them with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
UMES and the other seven teams get started tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in Game of Wickliffe. Thursday is a seeding round with seven team games, while the double elimination bracket begins on Friday/