Women’s golf coach speaks after death of Celia Barquin Arozamena

In addition to being on the women’s golf team, Celia Barquin Arozamena was an active student in Iowa State’s civil engineering program. Barquin Arozamena was murdered in September at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. 

Aaron Marner

The men’s and women’s golf teams at Iowa State are often inseparable.

They hang out off the course, creating memories that go beyond the game of golf.

So naturally, when former star golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena died Monday, the men’s golf team stayed at the same hotel as the grieving women’s team, which was flown home early from a tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Coach [Andrew] Tank and our men’s team, they’ve done so much already to support our team and I know that they’re probably gonna need a lot more in the time to come,” said women’s golf coach Christie Martens. “All the other coaches and so many people have reached out to our program. It means so much to us.”

Iowa State flew the women’s team back from Ann Arbor prior to Tuesday’s final round of the East & West Match Play. The Cyclones had just advanced to the final round.

Athletics Director Jamie Pollard and other members of the Iowa State Athletic Department decided it was best to tell the team before flying home.

The team then went to the Gateway Hotel in Ames and met with the men’s team.

“Our team has been sharing a lot of great memories,” Martens said. “She brought flowers for every single one of her teammates on Valentine’s Day if they didn’t have a Valentine.

“Some of our men’s players were probably in a better place to share at that point. It’s great for them to be able to lean on each other.”

Martens said Barquin Arozamena texted her Monday morning after seeing the Cyclones were winning their first round matchup of the East and West Match Play, rooting the team on as she followed along online.

Martens, who recruited Barquin Arozamena from Spain, also spoke with her parents. Barquin Arozamena’s mother, MaA’ngeles Arozamena, had an important message for Martens.

“Celia was happy every day that she was there, and even though all of this has happened, if we had this to decide all over again, we would still send her to Iowa State,” she told Martens.

Iowa State’s path going forward is still up in the air. Barquin Arozamena will be honored at Iowa State’s football game on Saturday.

However, she was originally going to be honored Saturday anyway for being named Iowa State’s Female Athlete of the Year.

“When we told her she was gonna be honored for being Female Athlete of the Year, she started crying,” Martens said. “She texted me last week, ‘there are gonna be so many tears at this game, I cannot believe this, it’s such an honor, I can’t believe I’m gonna be on the field.'”

Student athletes, such as Kyle Kempt and Zeb Noland of the football team, have shared messages on social media encouraging fans and students to wear yellow to the game.

“It means so much,” Martens said. “Yellow is her favorite color. It’s amazing how everyone has reached out. It also shows how many peoples’ lives she touched between engineering people, the Spanish student body, her hometown had a moment of silence today — I think she touched so many lives, and that’s what makes it so special.”