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Kenmore’s Alvarez a step closer to Olympics

Anita Alvarez of Kenmore has been named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic qualification synchronized swimming team.

She will team with Mariya Koroleva of Concord, Calif., as they compete in an Olympic qualification tournament in March. Alvarez attended Kenmore West High School before moving to California for training purposes in 2013.

The announcement was made following the final phase of trials in Orinda, Calif. Alison Williams of Moraga, Calif., was selected as the alternate.

“Anita and Mariya have the same way of swimming; they complement each other well,” said Myriam Glez, the USA Synchro high performance director. “Mariya is solid, experienced and reliable, and Anita brings length and lightness to the duet. We hope to see them grow as a duet with new choreography and presentation.”

Alvarez and the Russian-born Koroleva finished sixth in the French Open in March in their first competition together as a duet. They also took part in the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in July, finishing 11th in duet free and 12th in duet tech.

The two were members of U.S. teams that won gold at the 2015 U.S. Open (team tech) and the 2015 U.S. National Synchronized Swimming championships. Alvarez and Koroleva were part of the U.S. team that earned a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games. It was Alvarez’s first major international competition. Koroleva and Williams took part in the duet, as Alvarez’s availability at the Games was limited by an issue with an injury.

Koroleva competed in the 2012 Olympics in London. She finished 11th in duet with Mary Killman.