AMES, Iowa –Last month a homeless man named Collin Richards pleaded guilty to killing 22 year old Iowa State student and former golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena.
What happened a year ago at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames brought Iowa State University face to face with terror. Mike Green, Assistant Athletics Director for Communications at Iowa State University said “It`s always going to be a sad part of our athletics department history.”
Former ISU golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena`s death at hole nine September 17, 2018 still gives many, like Gayle Stensland from Waverly, a respectful pause at the ninth tee. She said, “It just sort of took a breath in and thought about the tragedy of what happened right here and I think we were both quiet for a moment just thinking about that.”
Through pain has come a promise at Coldwater, where Celia often practiced, to never forget her joyful spirit. “They know what a special person she was and I get a chance to play out there and it`s really neat to see the tributes for her,” Green said.
A majestic portrait of Celia bookends the ninth green. Stensland said, “What a nice way to honor her memory of course. It was just nice to see she could be honored like that.” Flowers, many in her favorite color of yellow, adorn the tribute. “She was a beautiful person and a wonderful student athlete. She meant so much to this athletic department,” said Green.
The Spanish flag is flying proudly all week for all to salute her native country. Green said, “On behalf of Iowa State, I think that`s really neat and a lot of people will find that special. You go out there and you know she touched a lot of people.”
Inside the clubhouse are laminated cards of Celia that give patrons a chance to always keep her close by. On the back, a quote or hers that says “I work really hard and then I pray a lot. I talk to God the entire time I`m on the course. I couldn`t do it without him.” Coldwater remains proud to be home to where Celia honed her skills to be one of the golfers in school history. Green said, “It`s something we never want to go through again, but it`s also special to know she is going to be remembered forever and we don`t ever want to forget what a great person she was.”