Oliver Dawson Drops Three Seconds To Break Canadian 15-17 NAG Record In 200 Breast


After setting a new best time on the opening day of the Canadian Olympic Trials in the 100 breast, Oliver Dawson was at it again on Wednesday in the heats of the men’s 200 breast, orchestrating a monstrous drop to break the Canadian National Age Group Record.

The 16-year-old put up a time of 2:14.20, knocking nearly three seconds off his previous best and cracking the 15-17 NAG Record of 2:14.30 set by Gabe Mastromatteo in 2019.

Dawson set his previous best time of 2:17.13 in March at the Western Canadian Championships. Prior to that, his PB stood at 2:17.70 from the 2023 World Junior Championships.

The Grand Prairie Piranhas product was relatively conservative on the opening 100, out slower than he was in his previous PB swim, and then dropped the hammer coming home. Dawson came home in 1:08.68 compared to 1:12.15 when he went 2:17.13 in March.

Relative to Mastomatteo’s previous record pace, Dawson was more than a second back with 50 meters to go, but made up 1.35 coming home with a blazing 34.08 split.

Split Comparison

Mastromatteo, Old Record Dawson, Old PB Dawson, New PB
29.88 30.39 31.13
1:04.38 (34.50) 1:04.98 (34.59) 1:05.52 (34.39)
1:38.87 (34.49) 1:40.97 (35.99) 1:40.12 (34.60)
2:14.30 (35.43) 2:17.13 (36.16) 2:14.20 (34.08)

Dawson’s previous best time ranked him 13th in the 15-17 age group and 7th among 16-year-old Canadians.

In setting the NAG record, he earns the distinction of being the fastest 16-year-old Canadian ever, overtaking Mastromatteo’s 2:15.78 from 2018, and also lowers his own Alberta Provincial Record for 16-year-olds.

All-Time Rankings, Canadian Boys’ 15-17 200 Breaststroke (LCM)

  1. Oliver Dawson (Grand Prairie Piranhas), 2:14.20 – 2024
  2. Gabe Mastromatteo (Kenora Swimming), 2:14.30 – 2019
  3. Ryan Telford (Markham Aquatic Club), 2:14.87 – 2016
  4. James Guest (Pointe-Claire Swim Club), 2:15.21 – 2014
  5. Mathieu Bois (Club Aquatique Montreal), 2:15.44 – 2005

Dawson heads into tonight’s final as the top seed in the 200 breast, with HPC – Vancouver’s Justice Migneault sitting 2nd in 2:14.86. Pre-race favorite and the #1 seed coming into the meet, Markham’s Brayden Taivassalo, is 3rd at 2:17.83.

The Olympic ‘A’ cut in the 200 breast is 2:09.68, a time only one Canadian, National Record holder Mike Brown (2:08.84), has been faster than, while the ‘B’ cut is 2:10.33. This past October, Taivassalo set a best time of 2:10.89 at the Pan Am Games.

On Day 1 of the Trials, Dawson set back-to-back best times in the 100 breast, first clocking 1:01.52 in the prelims before getting down to 1:01.47 in the final, placing 5th overall and ranking #2 all-time among 15-17 Canadians behind Mastromatteo (1:01.24).

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12 days ago

He probably got a small head thus wearing his cap over his face

12 days ago

Cap over goggles buff

(G)olden Bear
12 days ago

Imagine how fast he could go if his cap wasn’t over his eyes!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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