Tonawanda News — Anita Alvarez is an artist.
With much skill and endurance she eloquently and gracefully moves through the pool, depicting a scene for her audience. Since the age of 5, water has been the only form of art she has known, but her drive and passion has elevated her to the national level.
Alvarez, a sophomore at Kenmore West High School and member of the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes, was recently named to the USA Junior National Synchronized Swimming Team.
Out of the 12 girls, ages 15-18, she is the only member of the squad from Western New York.
In the first phase of trials, Alvarez competed against the top 50 athletes ages 15-18 and prevailed, moving on to the final phase in which she was amongst a field of 20 athletes.
From there, she was invited to join the National team.
“It was very thrilling for her, it’s been her dream,” said Anita’s mother Karen Alvarez. “Since she was 12, she’s been going to these trials, trying out for the National team. Every year she kept improving and getting closer. This is very exciting. She is so thrilled.”
About a week ago, Alvarez and her teammates began their training regimen in Riverside, Calif. — it includes an early morning two and a half-hour conditioning session on land, followed by dance, gymnastics training and strength training.
Although the long training days can be grueling, the support of teammates that share the same passion and ambition help pull her through.
“She’s says its hard, but a good hard,” Karen Alvarez said. “She’s doing lots of things she’s never done before. They’re pretty much training 10 hours a day.”
Alvarez will continue her long, tedious training schedule until August when she and her team represent the U.S. in the UANA Championships located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“It’s very nerve wracking, but it is so exciting,” Karen Alvarez said. “She just lights up the pool when she’s out there. As a parent I couldn’t be more proud.”