DENVER, Colo. – The University of North Alabama softball team had a full schedule during its first full day at the NCAA Championships in Denver. After spending time at a local elementary school, the Lions had a full practice, followed by opening ceremonies at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The ceremony, which officially kicked off the 2016 NCAA Division II Sports Festival, served as a welcoming event for teams participating in the national championships for men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, women’s lacrosse and softball. It was held on the home field of the Denver Broncos.
North Alabama’s Amy Carden was honored at the ceremony as the 2016 softball recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award. The junior from Madison, has a 4.0 grade-point average while majoring in secondary education.
The Elite 90 recognizes the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA who has reached the competition at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 90 men's and women's championships across its three divisions. Students are eligible if they are at least a sophomore and in at least the second year of competition at the school.
UNA spent Monday morning at CMS Community School. The Lions spoke to students about the importance of physical education, balancing academics and time management. The Lions were also on hand during two different recess periods at the school, engaging in numerous activities with the fifth graders.
After visiting the school, UNA held its first on-site practice at Regency Athletic Complex. The site of the championship tournament is located on the campus of MSU-Denver and features an all-turf field.