Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA senior Fabiola Arriaga has a driving will to win

Fabiola Arriaga

Fabiola Arriaga

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(July 24, 2013) -- Meet Fabiola Arriaga. She has a mean putter, a meaner driver and a driving will to win.

The first player in UTSA golf team history to be named Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, the 21-year-old from Mexico is a "diamond in the rough with a lot of natural talent," said head women's golf coach Carrie Parnaby.

Arriaga followed up that freshman campaign by earning the Southland's Player of the Year award as a sophomore in 2012, before picking up a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honor last spring.

A senior communication major on full scholarship, she has played in each of the team's tournaments since joining the team in 2010. The avowed vegan was on the Mexican national team in 2009 and 2010 and competed in the National Athletic Olympics in 2010 after winning the U.S. Girls' Qualifier in 2009.

Despite being just out of her teens, the native of Torreon in 2011 held the UTSA team's second-lowest stroke average, 76.25, on her way to becoming only the second freshman in university history named to the Southland Conference first team. She set the school-record as a sophomore (2012) with a 74.91 average, and then broke that record last year as a junior with a 74.81. Additionally, she enters her senior season with the school's career stroke average record of 75.32.

Arriaga dropped ballet and first picked up golf clubs at age 9, about the time that her twin brother decided he was no longer interested. "I didn't like it very much at first, but for my dad's sake, I kept at it. What I really got to enjoy was the competition, which really motivated me to do my best," she said.

Although she loves to dance, visit friends in Austin and Dallas, and listen to music -- "anything except ranchera" -- she doesn't have much free time.

"The strongest part of my game is the mental side," Arriaga noted. "If I am 'there' mentally, I will do well. So for me, the major part is the preparation, getting into my respiration routine and getting over the jitters -- getting calm and prepared for what I need to do."

Arriaga's goal is simple: "Win all the tournaments that I can. I want our team to get strong and become a Top 25 nationally ranked team, which we are capable of doing."

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