Tyler Julson: In wake of senseless death, Iowa golfer’s life is remembered

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Notes from the Sports Desk by Tyler Julson


As I’m sure a lot of you have already seen or read, there was an Iowa State student and former member of the women’s golf team killed near campus earlier this week. As an alumni and former beat writer for the women’s golf team, the events have put me in a bit of a fog the past few days.

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I went to bed Monday night seeing the news that there was a body found on one of the golf courses located next to campus. At the time it was ruled a suspicious death, but the identity of the person had not been released yet.

I woke up in the morning to floods of social media posts with news that I wasn’t prepared for. The victim was Celia Barquin Arozamena, the first person I got to know when I started covering the golf team. With only five girls on the team when I started covering them, I got to know each of them pretty well throughout my time there.

I remember going to the practice facility for the first time and being as nervous as a person could be. It was my first time interviewing an athlete period, let alone a college athlete. The moment I started talking to Celia, it was like all that anxiousness just went away. She was so easy to talk to and it made me realize there was no reason to be nervous.

Almost every time I went to the facility, from there on out, I talked to Celia — whether it was for an article or just to see how things were going. She was always very polite and humble, and her love for the game, Iowa State and life was evident in the way she talked.

Even though she was only a sophomore when I started with the team, I could tell she was already the leader. Her personality was perfectly mixed to the point where she could help coach and instruct her teammates while also being everyone’s friend.

I have caught myself many times over the past couple days, even while writing this column, spacing out and thinking to myself, why? Why her? Why then? It’s a terrible scenario when any one unexpectedly loses their life, but the question of why has taken a big toll on me.

I can’t imagine why anyone would do something like this, and the things he reportedly said beforehand are especially heinous. I don’t mean to spread blame, but why wouldn’t you say something if you were the friend he confided that to? There’s still so many things I haven’t been able to wrap my head around yet.

I enjoyed following Celia’s career, even after I moved on from the golf team. Celia was crowned the Big 12 champion in her senior season and earned a spot in the women’s U.S. Open. She also won the European Ladies Amateur Title this past July.

Celia had so much potential in not only the game of golf, but life, as well, all taken away because of a senseless and seemingly random act of violence.

I’m proud to say I got to know Celia and the type of person she was. Whether she knew it or not, she has played a big part in shaping the sports journalist I’ve become today, and I will forever be grateful for that.

Rest in paradise, Celia.

Tyler Julson is the Tribune’s sports reporter. He can be contacted at tyler.julson@albertleatribune.com.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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