Women’s Wrestling, Life University, A Powerful Infusion
Charismatic, unselfish and loving individuals can infuse life into their personal relationships.
A gregarious inviting family can spread life that often permeates an entire neighborhood.
The addition of Life University to the competitive collegiate female freestyle wrestling community has breathed life into an already vibrant and growing WCWA.
The campus is located on 110 wooded acres.
The university features five miles of walking and jogging trails, an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor seating and study areas, and reflection pools. LEED-certified green housing includes the Village Retreat, apartment-style living on campus.
It also offers undergraduate, masters, and a doctoral degree. Besides undergraduate and graduate programs in health and wellness-oriented fields, Life University is best known for its Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. It is the largest single campus chiropractic college in the world.
In 1989 the name of the school was shortened to Life College, as the school recently had opened an undergraduate program and was no longer purely chiropractic. This undergraduate program allowed Life to establish an intercollegiate athletic program.
Life University teams, known as the Running Eagles, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I level, primarily competing in the Mid-South Conference, effectively in the 2014–15 season.
Their athletic department is to be greatly admired since one of their athletic programs include women’s wrestling.
The administration has also been inclusive in hiring a female head wrestling coach.
On April 18, 2017 as reported at liferunningeagles.com, “Ashley Sword-Buster has been named the head coach for the women’s wrestling program, announced Director of Athletics Jayme Pendergast. Sword-Buster has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach under former head coach David Mathews.
Prior to coming to Life, Sword-Buster served as an assistant coach with both the Team New York Junior National Team in 2003 and Team Texas Junior National Team in 2004 and 2006.
As a wrestler, Sword-Buster was extremely successful. She qualified the 72 kilogram weight class for Team USA to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center from 2003-2007. Sword-Buster was a member of the Senior National Team in 2005. In 2007, she was a bronze medalist at the Pan American Championships. In addition, she also was a two-time bronze medalist at the USA Senior Nationals. She was a 10-time All-American in her career. Sword-Buster was also a two-time University National Champion (2005, 2007).
While competing at Oklahoma City University, she was WCWA National Runner Up in 2008, and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the NCWA National Duals that same year.”
That is one very impressive resume.
The first head coach in program history, Mr. Dave Mathews has helmed the squad since its inaugural season in 2014-15.
In his three years with the program he has coached six All-Americans, including two WCWA All-Americans.
On January 3, 2017, the informative freestyle wrestling site theopenmat.com had the Running Eagles ranked at number 17 out of 31 schools.
One of their great achievers is Nadine Fiege.
In 2016, Nadine Fiege competed to a UWW National Championship.
A February 13, 2017 school article speaks to her ascension.
“All-American Nadine Fiege led a group of Running Eagles at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships on Saturday, finishing fourth in the nation.
Fiege, a sophomore, won her first two matches by fall at 0:34 and 0:12, but fell in the quarterfinals to Oklahoma City University’s Monica Mason by fall at 3:00. In her first match in the consolation bracket, she won by fall at 0:41. Fiege advanced to the third place match winning by fall at 1:32 and by injury to face OCU’s Mason, who had fallen in the semifinals.”
Much of the early success of the women’s wrestling program stems from the University’s philosophy.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”… George Bernard Shaw
Here is the University’s Mission Statement.
“The Mission of Life University is to empower each student with the education, skills and values needed for career success and life fulfillment based on a vitalistic philosophy.
The University’s undergraduate, graduate and professional programs – each one committed to excellence in teaching, learning, research and the overall student experience – offer a vision and the promise for a meaningful life, the proficiencies necessary to achieve optimum personal performance and the wisdom to become transformational leaders in an increasingly diverse, global and dynamic world.”
Their athletic programs expand upon this thinking.
“The vision and mission of the Life U intercollegiate athletic department, in support of the larger mission of Life University, is to foster a nurturing environment by providing opportunities for academic, social and athletic growth while instilling the confidence to achieve excellence in a community atmosphere.”
In order for a University to have growth and success, much of that depends upon the support of the local community.
Marietta, Georgia is an ideal home for a dynamic academic institution.
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,579.
Its one of the suburbs that seems to blend seamlessly into the great metropolis.
At our favorite travel site Lonely Planet they share, “Without natural boundaries to control development, it’s fair to say Atlanta is more of a region than a city. Yet for all its sprawl and suburbanization, there is a lovely urban core here, covered with trees and elegant homes. Distinct neighborhoods are like friendly small towns. The economy is robust, the population is young and creative, and the socials scene is refreshingly diverse.”
From great pizza to fun sports bars, in terms of entertainment, Marietta is very self-contained.
Then there are the parks.
At mariettaga.gov they welcome, “Marietta Parks, Recreation and Facilities has 18 parks with several amenities, from 25-acre Laurel Park to Monarch Park’s butterfly garden. Whether you are looking for a place to play or a place to just relax and enjoy nature, we have something for you. View all City Parks.”
Sounds very enjoyable.
Life University is a wonderful and welcome addition to the growing Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association.
Exuding a positive philosophy, an engaging expansive campus and a strong commitment to their women’s wrestling program, Life University is a breath of fresh air in a female athletic community surging in popularity.
The 2017-2018 season promises to be an exciting one.
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OPENING PHOTO fciwomenswrestling2.com Fci Elite Competitor article, Life University Athletics photo credit