BYU Alumni and the Olympics
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Dreaming of Rio

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



Rena Williams Chesser (BS ’07); women’s 3000m steeplechase(finalist)Victor R Weirich (BS ’13): men’s pole vaultJason R. Witt (BS ’15): men’s 10,000mShaquille B. Walker (’17): men’s 800mAnginae C. Monteverde (’16): women’s pole vaultA. Shea Martinez-Collinsworth (’17): women’s 800mRafael Alfaro (BA ’15): men’s 200 IM (qualified to represent El Salvador)Ellie R. Thornbrue (’19): women’s 100m butterflyJacob F. Taylor (’16): men’s 100m and 200m backstroke (finalist in 100m backstroke and semifinalist in 200m backstroke)K. Connor Stirling (’19): men’s 50m freestylePayton M. Sorenson (’18): men’s 50m and 100m freestyle (semifinalist in 50m freestyle)Stephen M. Richards (’16): men’s 100m breaststrokeHayden C. Palmer (’16): men’s 400m individual medleyMariah Lindsay (’20): women’s 200m backstrokeDallin S. R. Johnson (’16): men’s 10km freestylePreston R. Jenkins (’18): men’s 100m and 200m backstroke