Cross Wire

A new addition to Knight Wire in 2020 is Cross Wire, a blog by students, for students.

About the Cross Wire blog & Authors

  • THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT: AN UNDERRATED GAME CHANGER

    LAUREN ULVELING, CROSS WIRE BLOG WRITER

    A film made on a budget of $60,000, with no set, no script, no on-set film crew and a six week filming schedule should be a recipe for disaster. Yet this film ended up being purchased for $1 million — making $250 million worldwide.

    The film I’m talking about is the 1999 horror/indie film “The Blair Witch Project,” which tells the story three college students who venture in the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to investigate a local legend about a witch billed as the source of missing children dating back to the 17th century.

    The filming process was a 24/7 project. The three actors, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Micheal Williams, spent eight days filming. At night, as the actors slept n tents, the film crew would play audio of children laughing or bang on their tents, which led to several of the scenes that built suspense throughout the film. 

    The Blair Witch Project popularized a style of horror film that has since become popular in recent years, with the film meant to be a story pieced together from “found footage,” adding to the mystery and believability of the media. The Blair Witch Project was not the first horror found footage movie, but it is the one that truly popularized the style.

    In 1998, a year before The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick made a missing persons website for the three actors. The website had childhood photos and biographies of Donahue, Leonard and Williams. On IMDb, the actors were listed as deceased. People going to see the film thought they were really watching three young adults disappear in front of their eyes. The actors’ families even received condolence cards.

    Is The Blair Witch Project a perfect movie? No. But is it one of the most unique films made in the 20th century? Did it completely change and popularize a new genre? Yes, and for those reasons I will always sing The Blair Witch Project’s praises.

  • MEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW PART II: SOPHOMORES TO WATCH

    RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    Anytime a school loses a particularly strong graduating class, they tend to make an effort to recoup some of that talent with a big recruiting class. Last year’s freshmen brought a lot of firepower to the Knight’s offense, here are my picks to watch out for. 

    Jack Molstead

    2019 Stats | 10.9 PPG | 2.9 REB  | 2.3 AST | 0.7 STL | 38.2 FG% | 34.6 3PT% | 77.3 FT%

    Molstead was inarguably Coach Peth’s most valued recruit last season. The freshman started all 27 games and largely earned the playing time. His assortment of ball fakes and flurries teased his apparent skill as a ball handler, but his distribution as the Knights’ premier point guard still needs work. While his defense is closer to college-ready, his assist-to-turnover ratio (62-58) isn’t quite what you want to see from your primary distributor. With his feel for the ball though, expect this to be an area he improves on in 2020. 

    On the topic of Molstead’s defense, all signs were encouraging for an undersized guard in his freshman season. He picked up .7 steals per game and despite his physical limitations played with effort and forcefulness on the defensive side that is rare in a freshman trying to adjust to the next level. While that height may put a ceiling on his ability, effort has not been a question for the young guard.

    Despite his raw talent, Molstead still has a lot of room for improvement. Despite being listed generously at 5’11” on the Knights’ roster, Molstead visibly struggled to adapt to the taller college game last season. He has smooth mechanics, as evidenced by his 77.3% mark from the free throw line, but showed to be bothered by defensive pressure while shooting. This resulted in a lack of efficiency from the field (38.2%)  that Molstead needs to improve if he wants to be a top scorer in the conference. 

    To take the next step, Molstead needs to work on shot selection and sharpening his focus when there is a hand in his face. Don’t rule out the possibility Molstead gets stronger, he is prone to acrobatic finishes and seems far less bothered by his size disadvantage when taking it strong to the basket.

    AJ Becker

    2019 Stats | 3.5 PPG | 0.6 REB | 0.4 AST | 0.1 STL | 33.8 FG% | 28.9 3PT% | 11.9 MIN

    Looking at the above box score, it is clear what AJ Becker was not last year: a stat stuffer. He struggled in almost every area of the game, his solid high school offense turned ineffective against college defense, and his own defense was probably the worst on the team. He often seemed like the typical college freshman too used to being a focal-point on their high school team to adapt effectively to playing a limited role at college. 

    And yet there is something about this player that I still cannot give up on. His percentages from the field are abhorrent, yet the eye test betrays the shooting stroke of someone who has a puncher’s chance to be the Knights’ most prolific catch and shoot threat. A talent evaluator might say Becker’s basement is the lowest of this freshmen class in terms of potential, and yet his ceiling could also be shockingly high.

    The freshman demonstrated an ability to hit shots, especially 3’s, more-than consistently at the high school level, and despite what could only generously be called a bad freshman outing for the rotation wing the Knights’ should explore the potential of giving Becker more time to develop as a scorer, and hope he finds his way on defense. Pairing his potential as a shooter with Molstead’s aptitude for kicking out of drives may be the key to the Knights’ offensive identity, or maybe it never materializes. Either way, Becker holds the keys to his own fate this season.

    Noah May

    2019 Stats | 4.1 PPG | 2.1 REB | 0.6 BLK | 0.3 STL | 64.3 FG% | 75.0 3P% | 9.3 MIN

    May was another semi-regular fixture of what made up a deep Knights front court last year. He has one of the most unique builds in all of basketball, 6’8” and weighing only 190 lbs. While a rarity to find a player so tall at the Division-III level, May was not without his faults on both sides of the ball. 

    While his efficiency from the field was monstrous, it also seemed likely a blip due to his low usage and minute rate. Generally May only shot the ball when he had an opportunity for a wide-open layup or a catch and shoot corner 3. These are valuable shots, but there is some concern that the oversized center can do anything else. He practices his 3-point percentage, and will serve as a steady stretch-five if he desires, but with his tools he could be a nightmare inside if he so chose, but will he?

    His lateral quickness was a problem on the defensive end. There is no disputing that he has the height and athleticism to block shots at a high level, but he got torn up last season trying to switch onto guards that he couldn’t keep up with. With May though, you get a lot of good to go with the bad. His wingspan is daunting, and while unmeasured according to my research is what makes him feel taller than 6’7”. His shot is formidable, and so is his height, and if he ever turns around his natural slowness on the court, he could be a freak of nature that is uncommon among D-III schools.

  • WHY DO THE ARTS MATTER?

    KATIE HIRV, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed life as we know it. From academics to the arts, every aspect of life has been changed in some way. However, some aspects of the art field have flourished in this time of COVID-19. 

    Try and imagine a world without art. No, I’m not just talking about paintings. I’m talking about music, graphic designs you like on Instagram, your favorite movie, the well-designed stickers on your HydroFlask…the world would be blank without the arts.

    Far too often, we see students, both elementary and college-age students, being steered away from the arts. They are told there’s no money in the arts, or they won’t have jobs upon graduating. This is not the case at all.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available for graphic designers in 2019 was 281,500. Although there is a predicted 4% decline in jobs available based on the job outlook predicted by the BLS, there are still a plethora of jobs available. Students can go into business for themselves or even work in similar fields, such as print layout design or web design. 

    This is just one example of finding a job in the arts. Rather than being steered away from their passions, why on earth aren’t we encouraging students to follow their passions? 

    RELATED ARTICLE: EFFECTS OF MUSIC AND MENTAL HEALTH

    During the early months of the pandemic, how much time did you spend on Netflix or Hulu? Did you enjoy the newest Animal Crossing game when it was released? What about watching Hamilton on Disney Plus when it was released?

    Designers, actors, musicians…all of these people made it possible for you. You might never meet these people, but each of these had profound impacts on how many of our daily lives were structured throughout quarantine. 

    Spend time on TikTok or YouTube? You mostly likely ran across content creators. Guess what? They’re considered artists as well. Being able to successfully create, produce and share videos that can go viral? It’s an art form.

    We need the arts.

  • THE WRITER’S BLOCK: FICTION WRITING

    TYLER JOHNSON, CROSS WIRE STAFF WRITER

    PHOTO COURTESY OF STORYBLOCKS

    Fiction writing is all about using the depths of your imagination and piecing together a story one idea after the other. As you are planning to write a story whether it’s a short story, novella or novel, it is important to always use an outline before you start. 

    HOW TO DO AN OUTLINE? 

    In order to make an effective outline, you must develop your premise, which can typically answer some of your story’s core questions, such as who the protagonist is, identifying their goal and narrowing in on how they plan to achieve their goal. Then ask, what disaster will you throw your protagonist off balance? Who will create a problem that will keep them from achieving their goal, such as  the antagonist? Lastly, what is the core conflict? The first thing to do is answer all these questions in a paragraph and see if the story connects, then you can start making your full story outline. 

    There are multiple ways to do an outline. One is called the synopsis outline, in which you highlight all of your story’s major plot points, hook and climatic sequence and then fill in the dots when you write your novel. Another is the in-depth outline, in which you summarize your chapters one by one. The third outline is most popular with writers, called the snowflake method, in which the story idea is expanded little by little. Not only is the outline of the story intact, but there is a strong understanding of your characters, settings, themes and more. 

    During the outlining process, it is important to track the themes which could help readers truly understand what the story’s message is. For instance, in the acclaimed romance tragedy “The Great Gatsby,” the main message of the book is ‘God sees everything,’ in which the main character, Nick Carraway, represents God and how he has to keep Daisy’s husband, Tom, from finding out about her affair with an old millionaire flame, Jay Gatsby. Themes such as  love, identity and loneliness  should have some sort of overall meaning to the story and somehow tie into events that are happening in the story. Remember not use too much theme or there will be a lot more telling than showing.

    On a final note, remember outlining is critical in the early stages of writing and can determine what direction the story is going. Themes are the backbone of the overall story and will keep readers attached to the book in a personal way. These two steps are just the baby steps in writing. It’s always great to start small and build up to completing your stories. 

  • THE BIG LEAD: MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEW PART 1 – TOP RETURNERS

    RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    There is no shortage of uncertainty surrounding the winter sports seasons due to postponements and shortened seasons attributed to COVID-19. While the men’s basketball season has been postponed until no earlier than Jan. 1, the conference tournament and national tournament are still, at least presently, slated to take place. 

    While there are few things we can predict this season, we here at Knight Wire want to walk you through those that we can. This week, we’ll break down the top upperclassmen returning this season, and next Monday we  will analyze last year’s freshmen and how they might grow this year.

    TOP RETURNERS

    Last season was chock-full of ups and downs for Wartburg. After graduating away probable Wartburg Hall of Fame players Cam Kickbush and Jaran Sabus, the Knights managed to still string together a solid postseason run, losing in the semifinals to Coe College.

    With the amount of talent to replace, a handful of players took the leap into the starting lineup and many new players mane a name for themselves. Here is our list of meaningful returners.

    Max Smith Drahos

    2019 Stats | 11.1 PPG | 3.5 REB | 3.3 AST | 1.1 STL | 42.1 FG% | 33.3 3PT% | 80.5 FT%

    Max Smith Drahos is an easy player to write about. The odds-on favorite for who the Knights best player will be is still the probable all-time steals leader in Smith Drahos. 

    Not only did he lead the team in scoring and assists last season, he has long-been on track to shatter the record for most steals in Wartburg history. As a player who focused on offense when he first came to Wartburg, Smith Drahos’ dedication to defense as an underclassman showed his ability to buy into a system that would reward him by one day featuring him as its centerpiece.

    While the current all-time steals record holder, Nick Webber, sits at 143, Smith Drahos has been on track to shatter it since his sophomore year, and as he approaches his senior season he is only 24 steals shy. At this stage in his career, the only obstacles to him installing his name at the top of this list are potential injury and/or the season being too short for him to get the requisite steals. For reference, Smith Drahos has averaged roughly 40 steals per season. 

    This year, expect him to take a step back from the scoring load that he saw last year. With young guns like Jack Molstead coming into their second years, and Ryan Stulken in his second year back after injury, the team should be able to ask less of the potential conference defensive player of the year.

    Ryan Stulken

    2019 Stats | 9.1 PPG | 6.2 REB | 1.2 AST | 46.1 FG% | 36.4 3PT% | 73.1 FT%

    It is difficult to watch Ryan Stulken play basketball and not think about what could have been for the now red-shirt senior had he not suffered the knee injury that ended his 2018-19 season. The 6’7” forward was on track to lead the team in three point percentage and rebounds, and had come into his own with his advanced physicality among D-III competition.

    Unfortunately for Stulken, that injury sidelined him for a year and he seemed shaken up at times trying to get back into form last season. The only question with Ryan Stulken this season will be his confidence, he has the physical tools and skill to be a conference MVP, but can he overcome the mental and physical trauma of a serious injury after nearly two years?

    It is tough to predict what to expect from Stulken, but indications among many other athletes is that year two after an injury is when an athlete may come back into form. I would bet high on Stulken, his talent is a blessing for Coach Peth at either the power forward or center spot, and when you combine a player of Stulken’s size with his shot making ability the possibilities for an offense can become endless. 

    Davis Roquet

    2019 Stats | 5.2 PPG | 2.8 REB | 1.0 AST | 47.0 FG% | 38.9 3PT% | 56.3 FT%

    Roquet isn’t necessarily a statistical darling from last season’s raw numbers, but most of that was due to a log jam at the center position with multiple centers ahead of Roquet on the depth chart. This season I would expect to see Roquet with a much larger role, and perhaps even in a starting spot.

    Roquet provides similar value as Stulken at the center position with his ability to stretch the floor. He hit on 21 of 54 3-pointers last year, and at that clip Coach Peth may want to increase his attempts. 

    The real question for Roquet is in his ability to maintain a positive impact over more than 13 minutes per game. That, and that his defensive stats, 0.3 steals per game and 0.2 blocks, may be worrisome for a starting center. But whether the coaching staff sees him as a backup or starting center, I would expect his numbers to go up marginally in the 2020-21 season.

  • CEDAR VALLEY AMPLIFIED: IOWA’S HEAVIEST SO FAR THIS YEAR

    LIAM EASLEY, CROSS WIRE STAFF WRITER

    Since March, when lockdown began and local music venue Spicoli’s Reverb stopped all live shows, the music scene in Iowa has been crippled. Live shows, events that kept the scene alive in the state, have ceased, leaving fans and bands alike in the dust. While shows and other social gatherings have been suspended, many local bands from around the state have been releasing new music. These are five of the heaviest Iowa releases of 2020.

    I. Pit Lord – Seasonings in the Abyss

    A new sound has been brewing – or in this case cooking – in the modern death metal scene, and fans of the underground have probably heard of labels like Maggot Stomp or Sewer Rot Records. Bands like Frozen Soul and Sanguisugabogg have made a name for themselves recently and this sound has made its way into eastern Iowa. Welcome to the stage Pit Lord, the barbeque-themed death metal riff-dishers.

    “SEASONINGS IN THE ABYSS” ALBUM COVER.

    July marked the release of their first full-length, “Seasonings in the Abyss,” a play off the famous Slayer album of a similar title. The crushing riffs of “Deveganize” and “Grill Marks” will have you dragging your knuckles on the ground and craving a thick, juicy slab of red meat. Beyond the riff, Pit Lord even snuck in some progressive surprises on tracks like “Spiritual Black Digestions.” Pit Lord’s debut can be streamed on Bandcamp and Spotify.

    II. Frontal Assault – Assisted Beliefs

    Closer to home base is the Cedar Rapids death/thrash metal band Frontal Assault. They’ve offered up one of the tastiest bites of thrash metal this year as seen yet. Unlike the barbeque party of Pit Lord, Frontal Assault’s offering is but an appetizer, a five-song EP that leaves you wanting more. But don’t be fooled by a seeming lack of content – this band has all the desirable traits of a good thrash band.

    Bits of old school bands like Demolition Hammer and Exhorder can be sighted on “Assisted Beliefs,” along with some more death metal influences from Obituary or Skeletal Remains. If you seek the hostility and aggression of early 1990s thrash and death metal, look into this band. You might just find yourself enjoying every bit. This EP can be streamed on Spotify.

    III – Hell Vendetta – Hell Vendetta

    Also along the thrash metal vein comes Hell Vendetta from Sioux City. These thrashers have already been around for a few years and they have finally brought forth recorded material – and it comes in the form of pure havoc.

    “HELL VENDETTA” ALBUM COVER.

    Their self-titled debut album is full of hardcore- and death metal-infused thrash similar to acts like Nuclear Waste or Morbid Saint with plenty of space reserved for mosh breaks. When shows start back up, this band will destroy the most venues. “Hell Vendetta” can be streamed on Bandcamp, Spotify and YouTube.

    IV. Astral Space – Blacklist

    This space-themed band is a veteran of the Iowa metal scene. Their unique brand of deathcore with synthesizers is one of the most individualistic in the state. Their newest full-length, “Blacklist,” is a mere 25 minutes in length, but it delivers heavy riffs and layered synths all throughout. While playing live, the band employs black lights to light up their instruments and bodies, both covered in neon tape. Mixed with the etheric deathcore, the visual is just as good as the audio.

    The new record features melodic synths over rhythmic guitars as well as vocals that sound a lot like Cattle Decapitation vocalist Travis Ryan. Breakdowns pound around the vocal and synth melodies, being able to maintain a balance between electronic and hardcore. If you want something new, exciting and begging for repeated listens, look no further than “Blacklist.” It can be streamed on Spotify and YouTube.

    V. Plea of the Sword – Trials & Tribulations

    On August 21, Waterloo deathcore newcomer Plea of the Sword released its first recorded material, the single “Trials & Tribulations.”

    To put it simply, this track is sublimely heavy. It almost has a slam-type of feeling to it, at times being reminiscent of Internal Bleeding, but the modern deathcore sound is still there. The melody of the guitar solo over the atmospheric arpeggios is especially delicious and adds totally new dimensions to the song. This track is definitely promising for Plea of the Sword, and they’re a band to keep your eye on – they’ll have an EP out in the near future. The single can be played on Spotify and YouTube.

  • THE BIG LEAD: BEHIND THE SCENES OF WARTBURG WRESTLING’S DARKEST DAY WITH KYLE BRIGGS

    RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    For wrestling fans, especially those who follow the Wartburg Knights, the winningest all-time Division-III program, the worst day for the sport isn’t hard to pinpoint. 

    On March 13, hours before the start of the D-III national wrestling championships in Cedar Rapids, teams from across the country were warming up to finish their season when NCAA President Mark Emhert made the announcement that all winter sports championships were cancelled. 

    Teams like Wartburg, Loras and Augsburg saw their postseason hopes dashed, and seniors faced the reality that they had wrestled for the final time.

    For Kyle Briggs, a redshirt junior at the time, the cancellation was perhaps the worst day of his life.

    “When news like that hits; it was really hard on us,” Briggs, who entered the tournament as the second-ranked 174-pounder in the nation,  said. “When you really take the emotional beating is when, what it felt like was: all the times in the room, when you’re working hard and you’re on the bike and you feel yourself so close to breaking but you push through it, you think to yourself, ‘it’s all going to be worth it, it’s all going to be worth it.’ And then all the sudden you lose that. It makes it feel like it was for nothing.”

    Briggs described the atmosphere in the locker room after the announcement as “raw.” 

    “I remember a lot of emotion, we were all just in shock, in disbelief,” Briggs said.

    With the NCAA announcing this fall that winter sports will be postponed until no earlier than Jan. 1, Briggs and the rest of the team have begun to prepare themselves for the reality that the pandemic could once again cancel their season.

    “That was probably the most shocked [I’ve ever been],” Briggs said. “If they said tomorrow that this season was cancelled, it wouldn’t be half as shocking as what happened last season. At this point we don’t rule anything out. We’re just kinda rolling with the punches.”

    For ranked Wartburg seniors like Martine Sandoval and Max Forsyth, they saw their only chance at individual titles stripped from them. For Briggs and top-ranked 133-pounder Kris Rumph, the cancellation deprived them of the ability to earn multiple titles.

    “No one should have to go out like those seniors did,” Briggs said. “They came in, in a situation where, ‘This is my one opportunity.’ No one should have to leave feeling like they didn’t get a chance at retribution.”

    For Briggs, a wrestler who is already in the midst of his fifth academic year, the idea of a cancelled season this year would test his ability to return for a sixth year to utilize his last year of eligibility.

    “Maybe I’ve already wrestled in my last match, nothing’s guaranteed,” Briggs said. “There’s still the potential for nationals. I have time to train and prepare for it. If they decide that it’s not gonna happen, at least I got to enjoy a little bit of training.”

    BURGCAST EPISODE FOUR – KYLE BRIGGS

  • GRAPHIC DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION: LOTTA NIEMINEN

    KATIE HIRV, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    Simplistic, while remaining bold yet charming. Hailing from Finland, this describes the style of graphic designer and illustrator Lotta Nieminen. 

    Though people may not initially recognize Nieminen’s unique name, they do recognize her designs rather quickly. Nieminen has collaborated with and designed for numerous big-name companies, such as Google, Hermés, Facebook, Rent the Runway, the New York Times and Volkswagen. She now owns and manages Lotta Nieminen Studios based out of New York City, specializing in graphic design, illustration and art direction. Throughout her design career, Nieminen has been nominated for Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list, Print magazine’s visual artist (2010), Art Directors Club Young Guns award (2010), named “Graphic Designer of the Year 2019” by Grafia, a Finnish design association and served as a member of the 2020 Graphic Designer of the Year selection committee. 

    Before opening her studio, Nieminen studied illustration and graphic design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2010, Nieminen was working for Finnish fashion magazine as their art director when she decided to move to New York City to pursue a different career, landing an internship at the New York City Pentagram, an international design firm. 

    Even when Nieminen accepted her first full-time designer job, she continued freelancing. Her experience working for others before taking the plunge and opening Lotta Nieminen Studios helped her fine-tune how she wanted to run her business and how she wanted to manage herself. Her freelancing jobs eventually got to the point where she felt comfortable enough to stop working for other designers and begin working for herself. 

    Nieminen’s freelance work also helped her develop her distinct style. 

    “The kind of work you have in your portfolio is the kind of work you’ll get commissioned to do, and I wanted my portfolio to give a very strong feel of what type of projects and clients I was after. It definitely worked,” Nieminen said in an interview with Creative Lady Collective.

    While Google calendar users lay out their week ahead, adding plans and meetings to the lineup, they may have interacted with Nieminen’s whimsical designs. With this client, Nieminen designed a set of monthly header illustrations for the 2014 version of Google Calendar. Whimsically telling stories of the characters illustrated throughout the scenes as the seasons change, Nieminen truly captured functionality and a very clean aesthetic. 

    Nieminen’s work with Facebook in 2015 followed a relatively similar pattern. For the Facebook Events function, Nieminen designed a set of 12 event theme illustrations that can be used as cover photos. According to the Lotta Nieminen webpage, “this set includes Graduation, Class Reunion, Memorial, Bachelor Party, Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, Baby Shower, Birthday, Family Reunion, Anniversary and Farewell Party.” This set shows versatility while still remaining true to Nieminen’s signature illustration style. Additionally, it’s likely that thousands of Facebook users used Nieminen’s designs without knowing who she was. The distinctiveness of her illustrations are truly charming and have phenomenal versatility, which can be difficult to capture throughout different themes and designs. 

    Lotta Nieminen. What a true creative force to be reckoned with. 

  • THE BIG LEAD: FISHER, FREIBURGER DEFINE XC PRESENT, FUTURE

    RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    There was plenty of fanfare when Aubrie Fisher, Wartburg sophomore cross country runner, solidly beat out teammate and reigning All-American Carina Collet in the first meet of the season.

    Separately, there was perhaps more when senior All-American Joe Freiburger made the announcement he would return to the Knights’ for a fifth year. 

    Yet last Tuesday, when the two became the first male-female pair in Wartburg history to sweep the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Athlete of the Week awards, they became linked in one particular way: They represent the Knights’ present, and they define their future.

    Freiburger’s award was unsurprising but significant. He had already won the award previously this season, becoming the first male athlete in Wartburg cross country history to earn the honor which celebrates the best athlete in each division every week. Yet for Fisher, a relatively unproven sophomore coming into a season with no opportunity for a national title, it’s a revelation.

    Fisher’s performance this season has been beyond exemplary; she stunned the Knights’ home crowd at the season opener, finishing 18:28.6 in the five-kilometer, 9 seconds ahead of Collet, who has become a modern Wartburg legend. The sophomore became the first female Knight to be awarded the honor since Ashlyn Bagge in 2016, and it seems likely she may be in the national conversation for years to come.

    “Coming in as a freshman, it’s all an adjustment, and there’s a lot you have to learn,” Fisher, who finished within two spots of being an All-American in 2019, said. “This summer I stayed in Waverly and trained with a bunch of girls on the team, which was really nice and helpful.”

    Now, three meets into this shortened, five meet season, Freiburger and Fisher have continued to stretch their peak, with neither yet to lose a race. To win national athlete of the week, each set personal records, breaking existing course records in the process, at the Dan Huston Triangular on Oct. 10. Freiburger clocked a personal best time in the eight-kilometer, finishing in 24:42.7, while Fisher won the women’s six-kilometer race with a personal best of 21:32.8.

    While the two best runners on this year’s cross country team are lighting up the course this year, the Knights can also rest easy knowing the pair will both be back next year. Freiburger is on the record as saying he will “100%” be taking his fifth year of eligibility, available to him because of the shortened season. Meanwhile, Fisher can potentially redeem a fifth year and return in 2023, but has yet to make an on-the-record decision.

    In the meantime, the Knights are in an enviable position; they feel assured of the safety of their future, and presently take two of the most dominant cross country performers of recent memory into the A-R-C championships on Nov. 7 in Pella in an effort to bring home yet another conference title.

  • KNIGHT WIRE RELAUNCHES CROSS WIRE FOR 2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

    RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

    Knight Wire is announcing its full list of Cross Wire blogs and authors for the Wartburg College 2020-2021 academic calendar. Cross Wire’s relaunch will consist of several fan favorites from Cross Wire’s inaugural year last year, as well as two new additions from new authors.

    Cross Wire is the official blog platform of Knight Wire, consisting of blogs and original media created by students, for students. Knight Wire launched Cross Wire for the first time Feb. 2020 before suspending operations in March due to COVID-19.

    Cross Wire’s first blog of the 2020-2021 academic year will release Monday at 3 p.m., as The Big Lead will return to break down trends in Wartburg athletics.

    FULL BLOG INFORMATION: ABOUT CROSS WIRE

    RETURNING BLOGS

    LIAM EASLEY CEDAR VALLEY AMPLIFIED
    About: Music is my passion. I love supporting underground and local acts and giving publicity to bands that need it. Iowa has a rich music culture, and I hope to bring it to light with “Cedar Valley Amplified.”

    KATIE HIRV ART & MUSING
    About: I have always been passionate about art, graphic design and photography, which was my inspiration behind creating “Art and Musing.” I will use this space to share artwork on campus, ranging from art pieces around campus to sharing projects students have created and the stories behind them.

    RYAN REEBENACKER THE BIG LEAD
    About: Sports at Wartburg College means more than simply competing: it means dominating. “The Big Lead” breaks down the hottest topics in Wartburg athletics and provides content to sports-hungry fans that follow the Knights year after year.

    COURTNEY STUCKER THE WARTBURG WEEKEND
    About: Wartburg students want to live it up, but have limited funds to do so. That’s why “The Wartburg Weekend” provides the perfect, low-cost inspiration for you and your friends to escape doing the same old thing and try something new.

    NEW ADDITIONS

    TYLER JOHNSON THE WRITER’S BLOCK
    About: A blog giving advice to those who want to write their own novels, poems, movies and theatre scripts. We will be going over a range of topics like when and when not to write, methods of storytelling, and reviews of popular literature.

    LAUREN ULVELING FILM FANATIC REVIEWS
    About: A blog all about the movies! I will use this space to share my passion about film and storytelling, and analyze new releases and trending features of all genres.