US Junior Duet Finishes Seventh At Brazil Open

By Dax Lowery | May 17, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

RIO DE JANEIRO – U.S. Junior National Team members Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y./Town of Tonawanda Aquettes) and Sandra Ortellado (Walnut Creek, Calif./Walnut Creek Aquanuts) gained some valuable international experience Saturday at the Brazil Synchro Open, swimming to a seventh-place finish in the free duet against senior-level competitors.

Alvarez and Ortellado finished with 79.400 points. Two Ukraine duets won gold (89.833 points) and silver (86.233), while Italy was third with 86.033 points.

"They had a good swim -- they took the risk to go for more on their first lap," said U.S. coach Julie Fabre. "We changed all the choreography since U.S. Nationals in April, except the first lap. So they didn't have a lot of time to match everything, but they had one of their best showings with this new version. Everybody noticed their potential and look, and the judges were really impressed."   

Ortellado and Alvarez also competed in a friendly figures competition with some junior Brazilian swimmers, finishing first and second. Ortellado had the top score with 74.3527 points, and Alvarez finished second at 73.0364. The top Brazilian finisher had 70.9782 points.