ANNIKA WALL, MANAGING EDITOR
Wartburg ranked No. 15 in the Learfield Directors Cup fall standings, which were released on Nov. 27. The Knights earned points from the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams, but four of Wartburg’s seven fall athletic programs reached postseason play. A number of individuals earned all-conference or all-American status.
The No. 17 Wartburg Football team was the last fall program to finish the season. Wartburg ended the season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 41-28 loss to No. 7 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Knights also shared the program’s third-consecutive conference title with the Central Dutch.
The program has only three-peated one other time in the 2002-04 seasons. Individually, Nic Vetter ’20 was named a first team allAmerican by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Vetter is the sixth Knight in program history to earn AFCA first team all-American honors. The offensive lineman was also a team captain during the 2019 season.
Two Knights broke or tied school records during the 2019 season. Wide receiver Kolin Schulte ’20 caught 19 receiving touchdowns during the season, which broke the previous record of 15 set by Riley Brockway ’18 and Ryan Rausch ’01. Schulte ended the season with a careerhigh 1,148 receiving yards and averaged 95.67 yards per game.
Quarterback Noah Dodd ’20 tied the single-game record for most passing touchdowns against American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) opponents Nebraska Wesleyan and Central. Dodd threw for 28 total touchdowns and rushed in eight.
The Janesville, Iowa, native boasted a 64.71% completion rate. Wartburg led the conference offensively in total touchdowns, extra points, total points and average points per game, and was second defensively in average points allowed per game.
Individually, Schulte led the A-R-C in total touchdown receptions and was second in points scored per game. The team boasted 11 allconference performers. JoJo McNair ’21, Jason Fisher ’20, Antonio Santillan ’22, Schulte and Nic Vetter ’20 were named to the first team. Eli Barrett ’21, Cedric Dobbins ’20, Ethan Lape ’21, John Patrick ’20 and Dodd were second team honorees. Hunter Clasen ’23 was tabbed as an honorable mention.
Wartburg ended the season with a 10-2 overall record and 7-1 A-R-C record.
The Knights will graduate 27 seniors.
Women’s Cross Country
Led by two-time all-American and two-time reigning conference most valuable player (MVP) Carina Collet ’21, the women’s cross country team took sixth place at the NCAA D3 XC Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Wartburg went into the meet as the No. 8-ranked team and totaled 219 points and an average race time of 22 minutes, 26.5 seconds.
At Nationals, Collet finished in 11th place with a time of 21:36.5. The time was four seconds shy of the junior’s career best. Aubrie Fisher ’23, Cassidy Christopher ’21 and Trinity Borland ’22 finished in the top 75. Fisher finished 42nd with a season and career best time of 22:15.6.
At the NCAA Central Region Championships, which the Knights hosted, the women placed second and earned the automatic national bid. Collet was
the race runner-up and earned All-Region honors, along with Fisher, Borland, Christopher, Janelle Baeskens ’21, Riley Mayer ’23 and Moriah Morter ’22.
Runners had to place in the top 35 to earn the distinction. The women also won the program’s 15th conference title. Head Coach Ryan Chapman and Assistant Coach Phil Spitzer were named Coaching Staff of the Year. Collet, Fisher, Baeskens, Christopher, Borland and Mayer were named allconference honorees.
As a team, Wartburg finished in the top three in all eight meets prior to Nationals.
Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team boasted a variety of team and individual achievements, which included a season-ending 13th finish at the NCAA D3 XC Championships.
The team also earned back-to-back Central Region titles to qualify for the national meet and won the A-R-C title for the second-straight year, where the team set the school record in lowest points scored at a meet with 19.
Individually, Joe Freiburger ’21 earned all-American status after finishing 22nd at Nationals. All Wartburg runners finished in the top 139. All-region honorees included Freiburger, Morgan Shirley-Fairbairn ’22, Dalton Martin ’22, Christopher Collet ’23, Liam Conroy ’21 and Caleb Appleton ’20.
At the A-R-C Championship, Freiburger won the meet and was named conference MVP. Sam Pinkowski ’21 was third. Freiburger, Pinkowski, ShirleyFairbairn, Martin, Christopher Collet, Appleton, Matt Heinzman ’21, Drew Hoffman ’21 and Jay Mixdorf ’21 earned allconference honors. Head Coach Ryan Chapman and Assistant Phil Spitzer were voted coaching staff of the year for the second-straight year.
Excluding the national meet, the team placed in the top three of all eight meets and won five.
The women’s soccer team won the program’s first conference title since 2015 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight season. There, the Knights defeated Concordia Wisconsin with a 4-0 victory before falling to No. 8 PomonaPitzer, 1-0.
The Pomono-Pitzer loss was the Knights’ only home loss. In the A-R-C championship game, Wartburg shut out the Luther Norse, who upset the top seeded Loras Duhawks in the semifinal game. Joy Smith ’22 and Hailey Osburn ’22 tallied goals for the 2-0 victory.
Individually, Kate Luers ’22 was named a third team all-American by the United Soccer Coaches. Sarah Campbell ’22, Luers and Smith were named to the all-North region first team by the same organization.
The trio, along with Zoey Campbell ’20, Gabby Corday ’23 and Osburn were also named to the A-R-C all-conference team. Fontana was tabbed as an honorable mention. Wartburg concluded the season with a 15-3-3 record and 6-1-1 record in conference play.