MEGAN BUJA NAMED FIRST-TEAM ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA
June 6, 2014
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. - University of Maryland Eastern Shore recent graduate and women's bowling star Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) was named a 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I First-Team selection yesterday afternoon. It is the second straight year that Buja earned the prestigious distinction selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Buja earned the award in the at-large team for the Capital One Academic All-America® program, which includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo for both men and women; and bowling, rowing and field hockey for women; and volleyball and wrestling for men.
Nine different sports are represented on the Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Women's At-Large first team, with swimming being the most represented with four. Three gymnasts also earned spots on the squad, and a pair of ice hockey and tennis players, as well. The other sports represented with one each are: bowling, field hockey, golf, lacrosse and skiing.
Buja is just the second ever student-athlete from UMES to win the award and her second selection gives the school three in total. Former teammate Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill.) earned the honor in 2011. Of all of the University Division (NCAA DI, DII & DIII) athletes named to first, second or third teams, Buja was the only bowler on the list for the second straight season. In fact, she is the only the second bowler, including Frahm, to ever make a first or second team. Lisa Friscioni of Faireligh Dickinson was a third-team nod in 2006.
Last month the four-time National Champion and National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) All-American honoree graduated with a perfect 4.0 in human ecology with a concentration in dietetics.
Combined, the 15 members of the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Women's At-Large first team have an average G.P.A. of 3.89.
Buja was the NCAA Elite 89 winner three years in a row and is a three-time All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) selection. This season she was named the UMES Female Athlete of the Year and the UMES Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award she also earned in 2013. She was the 2012 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Star of Tomorrow winner and earned National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) All-America honors this season for the first time in her career. As a freshman and sophomore, she helped the Hawks win the NCAA titles in 2011 and 2012. She also won two additional National Championships, helping UMES win the USBC Collegiate Championships (Intercollegiate Team Championships) in 2011 & 2013, making Buja a National Champion four times over. She also won conference championships in 2011, 2013 & 2014.
She had her best bowling season to date, leading the team in average with a 204.5 and a high game of a 280. She won numerous conferences bowling athlete of the week awards and all-tournament team selections.
"Knowing that Megan is the only bowler in the country to earn this honor, that just floors me," said head coach Kayla Bandy in an interview last month. "In a sport with less than a 100 teams, for the voters to hold her in such high regard for her academic and athletic career, I think that is something every student-athlete strives for and something the sport should be proud of. I am so proud of her and think she is more than deserving of this honor. I only got to coach her for one year, but I feel fortunate to have done so and am a better coach for it."
Joining Buja on the Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Women's At-Large first team is Kim Jacob of the University of Alabama who was chosen as the winner of the Capital One All-America® of the Year award for Division I Women's At-Large programs. Also on the squad are swimmers Elizabeth Beisel of Florida, Maya DiRado of Stanford University, Emma Reaney of Notre Dame and Laura Ryan of the University of Georgia. Fellow gymnasts on the first team are Lara Albright of Oklahoma and Emily Wong of the University of Nebraska, along with Capital One Academic All-America® of the Year Jacob. Tennis players Mary Anne Daines of Alabama and Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State University landed spots on the first team, along with ice hockey players Ali Binnington of Rochester Institute of Technology and Vanessa Gagnon of Clarkson University. Rounding out the first team honorees are field hockey player Lauren Blazing of Duke University, lacrosse player Taylor D'Amore of Johns Hopkins University, skier Anja Gruber of the University of Vermont and golfer Stephanie Meadow of Alabama.
Buja and five of the 15 members of the first team are repeat honorees, including Beisel, who was the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® of the Year. She is also the only one to be named to the first team three times. Gruber, Jacob, Meadow and Niedermayerova are all earning their second-straight first-team nod, while Binnington makes the jump to the first team after earning a spot on the third team in 2013 and Wong was a second-team member last year. All but three of the honorees are seniors or graduate students, with Binnington, Blazing and Reaney earning a place on the first team as juniors.
Alabama is the only school to be represented more than once.
About the Academic All-America® Program
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 18,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America® Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $206.9 billion in deposits and $289.9 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.