A former star on the Iowa State University women’s golf team, stabbed to death Monday morning in Ames, was scheduled to be honored at halftime of this Saturday’s ISU football game.
Twenty-two-year-old Celia Arozamena, a Big 12 champion last year, was recently selected as the Cyclone Female Athlete of the Year. ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard says now, due to her tragic death, Arozamena will be recognized with a video tribute and a moment of silence before kickoff.
“And so I hope that our fans will take 15 minutes away from what I know they enjoy, which is tailgating, and come into the stadium a little earlier so we can be there to embrace the young ladies on this team and the coaching staff,” Pollard said.
Arozamena, a native of Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester. Her former teammates withdrew from a competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Monday to return to Ames.
“Losing one of our student-athletes is like losing a child,” Pollard said. “We are all devastated and heart-broken.” According to Ames police, Arozamena was playing golf by herself when she was attacked by a homeless man living in a wooded area near the course. Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Richards was arrested and jailed Monday afternoon.
Pollard said Arozamena will ultimately be remembered for being much more than a murder victim. “She was a passionate, caring young lady, who probably embraced being a Cyclone more than anybody we’ve ever had,” Pollard said. She was also one of the school’s greatest golfers. Last year, Arozamena became just the second ISU women’s player to win a Big 12 Championship.
Pollard said she was looking forward to the ceremony planned for this Saturday to recognize her as the Cyclone Female Athlete of the Year. “The staff told me when they told her that she was the recipient of it and she was going to be honored at this week’s football game on the field, she broke down in tears. She was in awe that Iowa State would think to recognize her in front of 60,000 people at a football game,” Pollard said.
Details of Saturday’s tribute at Jack Trice Stadium are still being planned, but Pollard said it will begin around 10:50 a.m, prior to the ISU marching band’s playing of the national anthem.