Iowa State women receive GCAA's Kim Moore Spirit Award
Iowa State's women's team (Iowa State Athletic Communications photo)
The most amazing thing about Iowa State women’s golf was their sheer ability to keep going. The Cyclones lost teammate Celia Barquin Arozamena in the fall while competing in a tournament. Arozamena, a fifth-year senior, had stayed behind in Ames, Iowa that week and was tragically killed while practicing at the golf course in broad daylight.
Iowa State withdrew from the East and West Match Play following news of Arozamena’s death and returned home to mourn with the Iowa State community and celebrate Arozamena’s life. The 22-year-old Spaniard was the reigning Big 12 individual champion, and was completing a civil engineering degree at Iowa State before chasing a professional career.
In their first start after Arozamena’s death, the Cyclones dedicated the remainder of the season to their fallen teammate and created “CBA” patches to be worn throughout the season in her memory. Many other college teams followed suit by wearing the patches, or a yellow ribbon pinned on in Arozamena’s memory.
For their resilience, the Iowa State team was awarded the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Division I Kim Moore Spirit Award. The team was recognized on Golf Channel as part of the network's NCAA Women’s Golf Championship coverage.
“You can never imagine what it’s like to go through something like that,” head coach Christie Martens said on Golf Channel. “There’s no game plan for it, and I think (Iowa State team members) have had so much belief in each other and deep love and caring for each other. They’re amazing people and I’m so humbled to be around them every day.”
Iowa State opened its spring season with three top-10 finishes before going on to win the Mountain View Collegiate in March. The Cyclones rallied from five strokes back to claim a 14-stroke victory, their first stroke-play victory since 2012. Their final-round 20-under par score of 268 at The Preserve Golf Club was an 18-hole school record, and their 28-under par mark of 836 broke their 54-hole school record. In addition, for the first time in the program’s history, all five players broke par in a single round.
The team then went on to qualify for the NCAA Cle Elum Regional, marking the 10th consecutive year that the Cyclones have earned an NCAA Regional berth.
“There were so many other teams and other people that encouraged us and have been rooting for us this year. Almost every team we played with has said, ‘We really want you guys to pay well,’” Martens said. “It’s been really neat to see that support for her and for our program.”