AMES, Iowa — The Ames high little cyclones are proud to be orange and black but Friday night was different. “The student section chose to wear yellow. Yellow is not everybody’s color,” said sophomore cheer coach and ISU student Kelsie Vertanen. It may not be the color for everyone but it was the favorite color of former Iowa State student-athlete and European amateur champion Celia Barquin Arozamena who was attacked and killed Monday on an Ames golf course. “In class today it just made sense to wear yellow tonight to honor Celia,” said Ames student Tye Erickson.
Cheer team members added the color to hair-bows and players to their wrists. “I think it’s so special that our Ames community has come together and honored such a special lady,” said Vertanen. The sea of yellow in the stands was a flash of life for Celia. “There’s a bigger cause then just football. It’s not just football it’s more than that,” said Erickson.
Celia’s Spanish-born roots added to the student’s passionate tribute despite her not being an Ames high alum. “We have a lot of Spaniards that come every two years and stay with us and we saw them as Celia and what would happen if they were ruthlessly murdered,” Erickson said.
As the little cyclones honor Thella with their shirts, just three miles north and inside Iowa State’s Jacobson Athletic Building a makeshift memorial continues to grow in her honor. Flowers from women’s golf teams at Ohio State, SMU and Texas Tech were placed underneath a poster of Celia displaying her phenomenal ability as a collegiate golfer. “It means a bunch to us that people actually care about what’s going on in the world and they want to make a change and stand up for what’s right,” said Erickson.
Celia may have never cheered on the little cyclones in person but their students sure made her hard to miss. Erickson said, “It was really great to see everyone wearing yellow. It was beautiful.”
Iowa state university is encouraging fans to wear yellow Saturday. They want fans in attendance to be in their seats no later than 10:45 am Saturday for a special video tribute to Celia Barquin Arozamena.