Iowa State honors slain golfer before Akron football game
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State honored slain golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony ahead of the Cyclones’ game against Akron on Saturday.
Iowa State’s band used a formation that spelled out Barquin’s initials, and both teams wore a decal on their helmets in her memory.
A tribute to Barquin played on a video screen before a moment of silence, and fans were asked to wear yellow, one of Iowa State’s main colors and a nod to Barquin’s Spanish roots. Most of the roughly 60,000 fans in attendance complied with yellow and with golf shirts on a chilly morning in central Iowa.
Barquin, 22 and a native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was killed on Monday while she played at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, a course that sits less than a mile east of Jack Trice Stadium.
Before her death, Iowa State had planned to honor Barquin on the field to celebrate her being chosen the school’s female athlete of the year.
“I think it’s fantastic. The tribute is amazing. But ultimately, it would have been perfect if she could have been here for her tribute, which was going to happen anyway.” said Ed Hamilton, a retired police officer from nearby Ankeny, Iowa.
Barquin, the Cyclones’ first Big 12 champion in 25 years, was finishing her degree at Iowa State and working toward her ultimate goal of becoming a professional golfer.
Barquin competed in the U.S Women’s Open earlier this summer, and coach Christie Martens said she was approaching “the pinnacle of her career.”
“Iowa State fans are very loyal. We haven’t had too many winning football teams over the years. Yet the fans turn out. There’s a great loyalty here — but it spills into other sports as well,” said Iowa State fan Kent Hollrah of Denison, Iowa.
Collin Richards, also 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in Barquin’s death. Police said Richards stabbed Barquin and left her body in a pond on the course, where it was found after other golfers noticed her abandoned bag.
Cyclones coach Matt Campbell wore an Iowa State golf hat on the sideline Saturday to show solidarity with his colleagues. Iowa State beat Akron 26-13.
“Be with all of us today Celia, your legacy will forever live on & we are forever grateful for your impact. Much love from your Cyclonitas,” Iowa State linebacker Willie Harvey tweeted earlier Saturday, using the nickname that Barquin had for her teammates.