Four athletes with BYU ties made it to the Summer Games in Rio. See how they fare here—and scroll even further down to check out the 16 other Cougars that qualified for the Olympic trials.

Taylor Sander celebrates after a BYU point
Taylor Sander. Photo by Jaren Wilkey.

Taylor L. Sander (’14)

U.S. Men’s Indoor Volleyball

Schedule and Results:

Aug. 7, USA vs. Canada, Canada Wins 3–0

“Canada overwhelms U.S. men’s volleyball in stunning upset”

Aug. 9, USA vs. Italy, Italy Wins 2–0

“USA men’s volleyball can’t right the ship in another tough loss”

Aug.11, USA vs. Brazil, USA Wins 3–1

“USA volleyball takes down the top team in the world”

Aug.13, USA vs. France, USA Wins 3–1

“U.S. men’s volleyball gets crucial four-set win vs. France ”

Aug. 15, USA vs. Mexico, USA Wins 2–0

“U.S. men’s volleyball secures a spot in the semifinals with sweep over Mexico”

Aug. 17, USA vs. Poland in the Quarterfinals, USA Wins 3–0

“USA Men’s vollebyall stays hot, advances to semifinals”

“Gnarly Olympic path has energized BYU alum Taylor Sander and the USA men’s volleyball team”

Aug. 19, USA vs. Italy in the Semifinals, Italy Wins 3–2

“U.S. men’s volleyball team falls to Italy in Olympic Semifinal”

Aug 21, USA vs. Russia in the Finals, USA Wins 3–2, brings home bronze medal

“Taylor Sander, U.S. volleyball team storm back to stun Russia, win bronze”

Casey Patterson spikes the ball
Casey Patterson. Photo by Jaren Wilkey.

Casey R. Patterson (BS ’05)

U.S. Men’s Beach Volleyball

Schedule and Results:

Aug. 6, USA vs. Qatar, USA Wins 2–0

“Gibb, Patterson win first preliminary match against Qatar”

Aug. 8, USA vs. Austria, Austria Wins 2–0

“Austrians upset USA’s Gibb, Patterson”

Aug. 10, USA vs. Spain, 8 a.m. MST, Spain Wins 2–1

“Gibb, Patterson fall to Spain in preliminary match”

Tatenda Tsumba runs for BYU
Tatenda Tsumba. Photo by Jaren Wilkey.

Tantenda Tsumba (’18)

Zimbabwe Track and Field, 200m

Schedule and Results:

Aug. 16, Finishes 6th in heat

“BYU star enjoys his Olympic moment, vows to return a medal contender”

Jared Ward runs in a BYU uniform
Jared Ward. Photo by Jaren Wilkey.

Jared B. Ward (BS ’15, MS ’15)

U.S. Track and Field, Marathoner

Schedule and Results:

Aug. 21, Finishing in the top 10 with a personal best time of 2:11:30, Ward took 6th place and was within two minutes of a medal.

“Utahn Jared Ward runs race of his life, finishes 6th in Rio marathon”

Qualified for Olympic Trials


  • Preston R. Jenkins (’18): men’s 100m and 200m backstroke
  • Dallin S. R. Johnson (’16): men’s 10km freestyle
  • Mariah Lindsay (’20): women’s 200m backstroke
  • Hayden C. Palmer (’16): men’s 400m individual medley
  • Stephen M. Richards (’16): men’s 100m breaststroke
  • Payton M. Sorenson (’18): men’s 50m and 100m freestyle (semifinalist in 50m freestyle)

  • K. Connor Stirling (’19): men’s 50m freestyle
  • Jacob F. Taylor (’16): men’s 100m and 200m backstroke (finalist in 100m backstroke and semifinalist in 200m backstroke)
  • Ellie R. Thornbrue (’19): women’s 100m butterfly
  • Rafael Alfaro (BA ’15): men’s 200 IM (qualified to represent El Salvador)


  • A. Shea Martinez-Collinsworth (’17): women’s 800m
  • Anginae C. Monteverde (’16): women’s pole vault
  • Shaquille B. Walker (’17): men’s 800m
  • Jason R. Witt (BS ’15): men’s 10,000m
  • Victor R Weirich (BS ’13): men’s pole vault
  • Rena Williams Chesser (BS ’07); women’s 3000m steeplechase
  • (finalist)

More From This Issue


The Long Run

Adversity turned Jared Ward to the marathon. Smarts and grit propelled him to the finish.

At the Y

Lights-Out Lexi

Hank Gathers held the WCC record for career points for 26 years—until a 5'10" BYU guard with a ponytail usurped him.


How Will God Use You?

If you give your heart to God and walk in faith and compassion, He will use you in ways you cannot now imagine.

Browse the complete Spring 2016 Issue »

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