Rio better be ready: The Lobos are bringing a pack to this year's Olympics.
Six University of New Mexico alumni and one head coach are competing against the world's best on the biggest international stage as they head to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Former Lobo student-athletes Cameron Bairstow (Australia, basketball), Gavin Green (Malaysia, golf), Courtney Frerichs (United States, athletics), Jarrin Solomon (Trinidad and Tobago, athletics) and Ross Millington (Great Britain, athletics) are all looking for gold during the 19-day games in Brazil. Also, former UNM student Jillion Potter, will be playing rugby for the United States.
Joining that group will be current UNM women's soccer head coach Heather Dyche, who is assisting the U.S. Women's National Team in Rio de Janeiro.
Dyche, who is entering her second year at the helm of Lobo women's soccer, saw the first action of the Olympics, when the U.S. opened group play with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand on Wednesday , Aug. 3 at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte.
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Wednesday, Aug. 3
The U.S. will also take on France on Aug. 6 and Colombia on Aug. 9 in group play. Bracket play starts Friday, Aug. 12 with the quarterfinals round, with the semifinals on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and the medal games on Friday, Aug. 19.
Bairstow, who was named as Second Team All-American by Sports Illustrated after capping a UNM career in which he scored 1,239 points, makes his Olympic debut with Australia on Saturday, Aug. 6.
Australia will take on five games in group play at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro. Australia opens with France at 11:15 a.m. MT on Aug. 6, followed by Serbia on Monday, Aug. 8; the United States on Wednesday, Aug. 10; China on Friday, Aug. 12; and Venezuela on Sunday, Aug. 14.
The quarterfinals start Wednesday, Aug. 17, with the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 19 and the medal games on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Green, who was a three-time All-American selection and a member of the prestigious All-Nicklaus team in 2015 for the Lobos, opens the first of four rounds of golf on Thursday, Aug. 11.
A native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Green will play all four round on successive days, finishing with the medal round on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Lobo track & field has a large contingent of athletes competing at Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, including one NCAA championship and a defending Olympic bronze medalist.
Frerichs, the 2016 NCAA champion and NCAA record holder in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, competes in the preliminary round of her speciality on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7:05 p.m. MT.
In a year in which she's won two NCAA titles — one with the Lobo women's cross country team and once individually in the steeplechase — Frerichs has a shot to continue her stellar campaign.
The finals of the steeplechase are two days later, at 8:15 a.m. MT on Monday, Aug. 15.
Solomon, an All-American for New Mexico in the 400-meter dash, has already competed in the Olympics, earning bronze in the 4x400 meter relay for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Albuquerque native will look to make it back-to-back in the 4x400 when he runs the prelims on Friday, Aug. 19. The finals of the 4x400 are the following day, starting at 7:35 p.m. MT on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Millington, the New Mexico record holder in the 3,000-meter run and five-time All-Mountain West honoree, competes on just one day, racing in the men's 10,000-meter run on at 6:26 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Former UNM student Jillion Potter will be playing rugby for the United States. The U.S. was one of 12 countries to qualify for the rugby sevens tournament. It's the first time the sport has been a part of the Olympics since 1924 when rugby 15s was last played. Potter, the U.S. rugby captain, has overcome cancer and a broken neck to compete in the sport she loves.