Rising Canadian breaststroker Gabe Mastromatteo has opted to remain north of the border for his collegiate years, signing a letter of intent to swim for the University of Toronto beginning in the 2020-21 season. The news was announced by the Varsity Blues on Saturday.
“I chose U of T because it is one of the top academic institutions in the world and that is a critical point for me and my family,” said Mastromatteo. “The swim team has consistently produced international stars, like Kylie Masse, and I hope to be able to benefit from that legacy and add to it. I am happy that I will be able to continue my education and swim career in Canada, especially in Toronto, which is a city that I love.”
“Gabe is a key recruit for the Blues as he is a fantastic talent and will be a threat for years to come,” said Varsity Blues head coach Byron MacDonald. “And his ceiling is very high. He will be aiming to make the senior international teams for Canada. He has great technique and always rises to another level in the big races.”
At just 17 years of age, Mastromatteo already has a wealth of international experience under his belt. He was a member of the gold-medal-winning mixed 400 medley relay at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Indianapolis, then won three medals including individual gold in the 100 breaststroke at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji, and then added three more medals, including a silver in the 50 breast, at the 2019 World Juniors this past August in Budapest.
The native of Kenora, Ontario (a small city located right at the border of Ontario and Manitoba, 20 hours north-west of Toronto) was also a member of Canada’s 2019 senior World Championship team, competing in the 200 breast where he placed 39th. He currently trains with the Kenora Swimming Sharks club.
Note: The Canadian university season is primarily raced in short course metres, with the U SPORTS finals raced long course meters in certain years.
- 50 breaststroke LCM – 27.73
- 50 breaststroke SCM – 28.08
- 100 breaststroke LCM – 1:00.69
- 100 breaststroke SCM – 1:00.91
- 200 breaststroke LCM – 2:14.30
- 200 breaststroke SCM – 2:14.76
- 100 butterfly LCM – 56.60
- 200 IM LCM – 2:10.30
- 400 IM LCM – 4:46.23
Mastromatteo will join a Toronto team that has historically been dominant in Ontario and consistently amongst the best in Canada. Last season the men won their 16th consecutive OUA title and placed third at the National Championships behind the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary. The Varsity Blue men last won the title in 2016.
Mastromatteo’s personal best times would have won all three breaststroke events at the 2019 U SPORTS Championships (contested in LCM). He fills the shoes left by Eli Wall, who won a total of six Canadian University titles in the breaststroke events over his five years with the Blues. He graduated in 2018.