AMES, Iowa -- On Tuesday, Jamie Pollard, the Director of Athletics at Iowa State University, became emotional and got choked up several times, when talking about the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena. Pollard said there’s no manual that you can turn to that tells you how you can deal with a situation like this. Pollard said losing a student-athlete is like losing a child; adding that the ISU Cyclone family is heartbroken and devastated .
Pollard said Celia, who was from Spain, embraced being a Cyclone more than just about anybody that's ever been at ISU. Pollard said Celia embraced anything and everything that she could to make the most out of her time at ISU. Pollard pointed out that often times students that are from other countries, like Celia was, appreciate the opportunity that they have at ISU, more than people who are from here, who sometimes take it for granted.
Pollard said the irony of it all is that ISU was set to honor Celia on Saturday as the 2018 Female Athlete of the Year: "An award that she earned during her time here, but certainly capped it off by being the Big 12 Champion here last year," said Pollard. "And though I know I wasn't there, but when the staff told me they told her that she was the recipient of it and that she was going to be honored at this week's football game on the field, she broke down in tears."
Celia was in awe that Iowa State University would think to recognize her in front of 60,000 people at a football game. And what Pollard is hoping is that Saturday can be a platform that can help in the healing process for the ISU community. Pollard said it's going to be a really long healing process to overcome this loss.