Life opens AAC competition with wins over Keiser, St. Thomas

MARIETTA, Ga. -- The No. 2 Life University men's wrestling team hosted their first two conference duals today versus Keiser University and St. Thomas, crushing the competition from the start on their way to a flawless, 55-0 victory against Keiser and a 40-7 win over STU.

Life U vs Keiser

Life U (2-0) began Appalachian Athletic Conference play with the defeat of Keiser adding to their home unbeaten streak that dates back to the 2018-19 season.

Chase Ayers started the dual off with a result that would be seen in six other bouts against Keiser, pinning his opponent to open the match 6-0 in favor of the Running Eagles. At 133 lbs., Kaden Ramos won by forfeit before a tech fall came at 141 lbs from Tyree Johnson to boost the advantage to 17-0.

Next up, Avant Stepherson earned a fall at 149 lbs. Then, Brevin Balmeceda dominated his opponent to a 15-0 tech fall before Steven Villalobos, Tre Morrisette, and Kyle Homet all recorded opening round pins to propel Life U to a large advantage, 46-0. Next, the only victory to not come in the bonus came at 197 lbs., a 6-2 decision by Khalil Abdushshakur over the 18th ranked wrestler in the weight class, Nick Woodruff. In the final weight class, Cohle Feliciano won by fall.

Life U vs STU

Against St. Thomas, the Running Eagles fell behind allowing a major at 125 lbs. Next, the Life got back on track as Ethan Sellars got the team its first points of the dual with a fall at 2:45 of the opening round. Leading 6-4, Bret Minor earned a much-needed and convincing 8-2 decision over the #21 ranked wrestler at 141 before STU won a 3-1 decision at 149 lbs.

Next up, Brevin Balmeceda continued his perfect track record on the day, cruising to another 15-0 tech fall. After Balmeceda's tech fall, Villalobos, Morrisette, and Myles Starke all followed suit with tech falls to push the Running Eagles further ahead, 28-7. Khalil Abdushshakur and Zane Lanham closed out the day with two consecutive first round pins.

Head Coach Omi Acosta shared his thoughts on the team's performance Friday, stating, "First, I would like to thank God for the ability to compete and to leave the dual with no injuries. Second, [our] team wrestled tough! It was an exciting dual. Big shoutout to Life U alum Nosomy Pozo for bringing a tough team (STU) and competing with my guys. St. Thomas is going in the right direction. We will prepare for Life U Open."

Next, the men host their annual Life U Open set for tomorrow, Nov. 18th at McEachern High School.