UBC, Toronto defend U SPORTS gold and beat records in Victoria

TORONTO, ON  – Toronto’s Gabe Mastromatteo stole the show in at Commonwealth Pool over the weekend’s U SPORTS swimming championships. 

Gabe Mastromatteo (U SPORTS)

While the UBC Thunderbirds and Toronto Varsity Blues took home the men’s and women’s U SPORTS Championships, the Canadian Olympic swimmer set two records throughout the three-day meet in Victoria, BC. Overall, he took home three individual medals and team silver. 

In the Thursday night session, Mastromatteo smashed the U SPORTS record to win the men’s 50m breaststroke with a time of 27.53, breaking McMaster Marauder Konrad Bald’s 2015 record of 28.46, although falling short of the Canadian record. 

24 hours later, he followed it up with an equally impressive performance in the 100m breaststroke, capturing the gold medal in a U SPORTS record time of 1:01.38, smashing the record of Varsity Blues alumnus 

On the meet’s final night, the Varsity Blues swimmer captured silver in the men’s 200m breaststroke to complete his individual hat-trick weekend. 

Fellow Tokyo 2020 Olympian Rebbeca Smith of the Calgary Dinos started her meet strong as well, winning the women’s 100m butterfly event while adding a bronze in the women’s 50m freestyle, touching the wall in 26.13. On the 50m, she finished behind Toronto’s duo of Ainsley McMurray and Aleksa Gold. 

Smith added a silver medal in the women’s 100m freestyle to cap off her events in Victoria. 

Ainsley McMurray (Toronto Varsity Blues)

For the men’s title, UBC’s 1158.5 points won the meet, while Calgary (876), Ottawa (795), Toronto (783), and McGill (745.5) rounded out the top five men’s teams. The win was UBC’s sixth straight title on the men’s side. 

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, head coach Byron McDonald led his group to defend their 2022 title with a 1336-point weekend, followed by UBC in the runner-up position with 1166.5 points. McGill, Calgary and Western complete the top five women’s teams with 872, 818, and 378 points, respectively.

“It’s great when a year-long focus and plan comes together,” MacDonald told Varsity Blues Athletics. “The team was aiming for this from day one and did it! As I tell the team, it’s tough to win. And it’s even tougher to repeat.”

“The men did a marvellous job considering they sort of competed with one arm tied behind their back,” added MacDonald. “Two guys went down with arm injuries suffered outside the pool, and our super rookie Ben Loewen was too sick to compete close to his usual level. Yet the team still moved up to fourth place overall. The guys did a great job despite the challenges, and I’m proud of their resilience.”

Although the Canadian university swim season comes to an end with the conclusion of the U SPORTS National Championships, several athletes will compete at the North American and World levels through the coming months while also preparing for the 2023-24 U SPORTS seasons. 

UBC Thunderbirds with U SPORTS medals (U SPORTS/UBC Thunderbirds)


UBC Thunderbirds – 1158.5

Calgary Dinos – 876

Ottawa Gee-Gees – 795

Toronto Varsity Blues – 783

McGill Redbirds – 745.5

Lethbridge Pronghorns – 359.5

Victoria Vikes – 353

Alberta Golden Bears– 292

Waterloo Warriors – 207

Western Mustangs – 196.5

Laval Rouge et Or – 181

Montreal Carabins– 157

Dalhousie Tigers – 123

Regina Cougars – 101

Laurier Golden Hawks – 85

McMaster Maraduers – 82.5

Acadia Axemen – 65

York Lions – 61.5

Sherbrooke Vert et Or  – 17

Manitoba Bisons – 15

Carleton Ravens – 13

Memorial Sea-Hawks – 2


(U SPORTS/Varsity Blues)

Toronto Varsity Blues  – 1336

UBC Thunderbirds – 1166.5

McGill Martlets – 872

Calgary Dinos – 818

Western Mustangs – 378

Victoria Vikes – 331.5

Manitoba Bisons – 302.5

Dalhousie Tigers – 243

Laval Rouge et Or– 231

Ottawa Gee-Gees – 225

Alberta Pandas – 159.5

Guelph Gryphons – 150

Lethbridge Pronghorns– 125

Montreal Carabins – 114

Waterloo Warriors – 96

Acadia Axewomen– 89.5

McMaster MAraduers– 62

Sherbrooke Vert et Or– 23

Regina Cougars – 6.5


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