UMES star wins NCAA award

  • Friday, April 27, 2012

    By Shawn Nisson, Daily Times Staff Writer

    Megan Buja - 2012 by Matthew BlissPRINCESS ANNE -- (April 27, 2012) -- Sophomore Megan Buja has accomplished a lot in her short time on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Buja has helped the Hawks capture three national championships in women's bowling, two NCAA titles to go along with a USBC ITC championship, and has been showered with multiple awards.

    But there is one thing Buja hasn't experienced as a Hawk, or ever for that matter, and that's receiving any grade other than an A at the end of a semester.

    "I've never gotten one," Buja said of receiving a B. "Not in high school or middle school even."

    Buja, a human ecology-dietetics major, carries a 4.0 grade point average and was rewarded for her efforts in the classroom earlier this month when she received the NCAA Elite 89 award for the 2012 NCAA Division I women's bowling championship. The Elite 89 award is presented by the NCAA to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.

    "I think it's a really great award to win because we are student-athletes," Buja said. "I was valedictorian at my high school and academics have always been really important to me. I know that if I want to continue my education I have to have a high GPA here to get into a masters program. So it's really rewarding to know that my hard work on and off the lanes is being recognized. So it's motivation, just one more thing to motivate me to keep my grades up."

    Buja, who was also named the 2012 Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow by the United States Bowling Congress before the start of the season, said that she feels her drive to perform athletically is the same force propelling her academically.

    "Putting in that extra half hour to finish an assignment is just the same as taking an extra half hour in the bowling center to shoot spares," Buja said. "They really correlate with each other and I think that being a hard working athlete and being a hard working student really go hand in hand."

    Buja said that staying on top of all her responsibilities revolving around the bowling team and her studies requires her to avoid procrastination.

    "It can be really tough, we have really long days," Buja said about dividing up her time. "I try to work ahead as much as possible, because I really can't afford to procrastinate. I don't want to be scrambling around trying to tie things up at the last minute."

    While Buja will concentrate on keeping her 4.0, the sophomore is also worried about continuing her upward climb.

    "Some of my teammates were teasing me saying 'Megan you can only go downhill from here,' " Buja said with a smile. "They said 'You have to keep it up. What are you going to do next?' But it's just really cool (to have had all this success.)"


    This article is reproduced with permission of The (Salisbury, MD) Daily Times newspaper.xxx