University of Toronto secures top swimmers

TORONTO – The Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s swimming champions University of Toronto Blues have already secured three top young Canadian swimmers for next season.


Mitchel Ferraro of Uxbridge, Ont., the No. 1 Grade 12 100-metre freestyler in the country, signed on earlier this week to join U of T in the fall of 2014.


“Mitchel will cement our sprint corps as the top in the country,” said head coach Byron MacDonald. “He has a large upside as he only trains 10 hours a week. His coach, U of T alumnus Dr. Terry Bryon, has done a great job with Mitchel.”


Ferraro won four medals at the recent Canada Games and will be off to Australia in January to represent Canada on the Australian junior Tour.


Meanwhile Kyle Haas of Georgetown, Ont., the top-ranked Grade 12 50-m and 100-m backstroker in the short course pool, and freestyle specialist Oliver Straszynski of Toronto have already committed to swim with the Blues. Straszynski, who is also going to Australia in January, is ranked first for his age group in the 800-m freestyle short course.


‘’The U of T has had a lot of success putting swimmers on the Olympic team,’’ said Straszynski, who plans to study engineering in university. ‘’I know a lot of the team members because I train at the Toronto Swim Club. It’s a great facility and a great school.’’


MacDonald, in his 36th season as head coach of the Blues, says Canadian universities need to put a little more pressure on the athletes to sign early so they can keep them home.


‘’There is a competitive atmosphere in recruiting both within Canada and our neighbour to the south,’’ MacDonald said. ‘’The U.S. has been more aggressive over the last decade and we’re trying to sign our guys a little earlier and build some momentum.’’


MacDonald says there have already been double the enquiries from Canadian swimmers about the U of T program, which has produced Olympians for the past 30 years. Working closely with the National Swim Centre – Ontario, led by former GB Olympic coach Ben Titley, has also boosted the attraction of the program. Titley was a key member of Canada’s coaching staff at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.


‘’It shows that Canadian swimmers and their parents are realizing that they need to start this process (choosing a university) earlier,’’ he said. ‘’The awareness is there about the advantages of staying in Canada both at the economical and performance levels.’’


On Canada’s 2012 Olympic team none of the swimmers were based at NCAA schools while 10 swam at the previous CIS championships.


“I think we are seeing a realization of the great opportunities that we can offer to these top young swimmers right here in Canada,” MacDonald said.


Press release courtesy of the University of Toronto.

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Canadian American swimmer

Something should sound very wrong about none of the Canadian NCAA athletes made the olympic team….this could possibly be because the Canadian swimming federation refuses to move trials to a later date….like any other country. Instead, their trials are held less than two weeks out of womens NCAAs and less than a week out of mens. Going from training full on yards and having to switch to long course within a week is ridiculous, especially for swimmers who rely on walls and need a solid few months of long course prep to get back to their long course stroke. Some of the best talent that Canada has resides in the US, but they aren’t given much of a chance. Another… Read more »


very true

Coach C

Funding, trial dates and team selection are all known quantities and the swimmers are fully educated as to implications of their decisions. If swimming internationally and going to school at the same time is your immediate goal then make the informed decision and know what you are signing up for if it is a US school, Canadian school or Canadian swim centre. No, it does not make sense to go to a US school if you are hoping to swim internationally for Canada at the same time (or really any country outside the US), there are viable options for the swimmer though, noone is forcing their hand.

Happy to graduate and have a job

So to swim internationally for Canada you have be ok with being uneducated? Can’t get a degree and swim! No wonder they want to go to the US, they can get fast swimming and an education


UBC and UT are great schools in Canada

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