Two athletes from the University at Buffalo qualified for Olympic Trials.

The Olympic Trials are underway, and so far there are three Western New York natives headed to Paris. A couple of  athletes with ties to the University at Buffalo competed in trials, but aren’t making a trip to the Eiffel Tour.

Jessica Pegula (tennis)

Jessica Pegula, daughter of Buffalo Bills/Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, qualified for the 2024 Olympics but is yet to accept her spot. If she accepts the invitation, it would be her second time at the Olympics. 

Pegula’s first appearance was at the Tokyo Olympics where she lost in the first-round to the No. 9 ranked athlete, Belinda Bencic, who won gold. In doubles, she placed fifth alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The Buffalo, NY native is ranked No. 5 in the world in singles and No. 44 in doubles.

Matt Anderson (volleyball)

A West Seneca native, Matt Anderson is preparing for his fourth Olympics. 

 Anderson won bronze in 2016 and competed again at the Tokyo Games, but Team USA did not advance past pool play in 2021. 

The Penn State alum was the top scorer for Team USA when they placed third. Anderson has professional volleyball experience under his belt as he’s had spurts on teams in South Korea, Italy, Russia and Turkey. 

Anita Alvarez (artistic swimming) 

At only 27, Anita Alvarez is the only artistic swimmer in United States history to make it to three Olympic Games. 

Alvarez has previously competed in duets, placing ninth and 13th, but will now be part of an eight-member group that hasn’t qualified since 2008. The Kenmore, NY native is the only athlete on the team that has previous experience at the Olympics.

Christina Wende (track and field)

Christina Wende, an alumni at the University at Buffalo and current assistant coach for the Bulls, qualified for Olympic Trials in triple jump.

Her personal best heading into the trials was 13.33 meters, which seeded her at No. 20. She jumped 13.10 meters to qualify for finals, but fouled out in finals.

Wende holds the school record at UB in triple jump and is a two-time Mid-American Conference champion. 

Mia Naccarella (swimming)

The Rochester, NY native and current senior on the UB swim team swam at the Olympic Trials for her first time this past weekend.

Naccarella qualified for the 100m backstroke and swam a 1:02.71 in the preliminary round, good for 51st overall. She was two seconds short of making it to semifinals.

But, it seems to run in the family, as the last swimmer from UB to make it to the Olympic Trials was her older sister in 2021. 

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