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NAIA No. 5 Life women honor Kyleigh Dean, who retires as Eagles beat No. 7 Univ. of Cumberlands, 29-19

By Life University Athletics | Jan. 23, 2021, 11:50 a.m. (ET)

Photo of Kyleigh Dean, courtesy of Life University Athletics.

MARIETTA, Ga. ---- On a day where the Women's Wrestling team honored Kyleigh Dean, the team pulled through for a victory, 29-18, over the visiting seventh-ranked University of the Cumberlands in conference play.

Before the match started the team hosted a special match between new Life U signee Kyleigh Dean and Jordan Nelson. Dean suffers from Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy (CGL), a rare genetic disorder characterized by the near total loss of body fat. Despite her condition, Dean has always been a warrior, fighting through any and all limitations to have a successful high school wrestling career. Following Dean's victory via pin, she left her shoes on the mat, ending her career.

Despite gaining the conference win, it was a tough day on the mat for the Running Eagles with all of the team's match wins except for one coming by forfeit.

The Patriots won the first two matches by pin before three straight forfeits put Life U up 15-10. At 136 lbs. Cumberlands (Ky.) won by decision, while at 143 lbs. they took yet another pin. In the final played match of the night, Destinee Rivera controlled the match all the way through on her way to a 10-0 victory via technical fall in two minutes and 59 seconds. The last two matches were forfeited to Life U for the final score of 29-18.

Head coach Ashley Sword had this to say about the night, "Tonight we were honored to have Kyleigh Dean wrestle her first and last match in a Life University singlet. Three years ago when we visited Kyleigh in the hospital due to complications with Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy (CGL) we didn't know what would happen next. The doctors did not know if she would survive and a month later she placed at Folkstyle Nationals. Today she signed her letter of intent and was able to secure a win."

Finished Sword, "We are so proud to have her choose our university to call home. Kyleigh is the definition of a true warrior. This night is a snapshot of what sport can mean to a person's life."

The women's wrestling team hits the road this weekend to take part in the Emmanuel Invitational this Sunday, January 24 at Franklin Springs, Ga.

For more information on CGL please go to:

NAIA No. 5 Life 29, NAIA No. 7 University of the Cumberlands 19
101 - Elizabeth Dosado (University of the Cumberlands) over Devyn Gomez (Life University) (Fall 1:56)
109 - Jaine Stephens (University of the Cumberlands) over Katalina Bartelt (Life University) (Fall 1:21)
116 - Peyton Prussin (Life University) by forfeit
123 - Julia Vidallon (Life University) by forfeit
130 - Riley Dalrymple (Life University) by forfeit
136- Bridgette Duty (University of the Cumberlands) over Briana Kellin (Life University) (Dec 9-0)
143 - Ashley Ikner (University of the Cumberlands) over Angie Prado (Life University) (Fall 1:04)
155 - Destinee Rivera (Life University) over Kailee Godinez (University of the Cumberlands) (TF 10-0 2:59)
170- Jordan Nelson (Life University) by forfeit
191 - Catherine Palmieri (Life University) by forfeit