Canadian Gabe Mastromatteo Named U Sports Athlete of the Year

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol

Canadian Gabe Mastromatteo Named U Sports Athlete of the Year

Canadian Olympian Gabe Mastromatteo was named the U Sports Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night, the top honor given to a Canadian collegiate athlete.

Mastromatteo, who swims for the University of Toronto, was crowned alongside McMaster women’s basketball player Sarah Gates in what is officially the Doug and Louis Mitchell Awards. Mastromatteo is the first swimmer to win it since Kelsey Wog, for the University of Manitoba, in 2020 and the first male swimmer since the University of British Columbia’s Brian Johns all the way back in 2002. (Previous swimmers to win the U Sports Award include Kylie Masse, Annamay Pierse, Elizabeth Warden and Curtis Myden, the award having been inaugurated in 1993.) Mastromatteo is also the first University of Toronto male athlete to win the award.

Mastromatteo is a native of Kenora, Ontario. He won the 50-meter and 100-meter men’s breaststroke events at the U Sports Championships, the equivalent of Canada’s NCAA championships. He set records in both events. He was also the runner-up in the 200 breast and on the Varsity Blues’ 400 medley relay.

Even as a teen, Mastromatteo emerged as one of the Canada’s top male breaststrokers. He swam at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, placing 38th in the 100 breast and getting to the final in seventh place on the medley relay.

He won gold at the 2017 World Junior Championships in the mixed medley relay to go with individual silver in the 50 breast two years later. He also won three medals at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. Mastromatteo has been named to Team Canada’s roster for the Pan Am Games this summer.

“Gabe is a world class swimmer and showed that with his two meet records at the national championships this season,” University of Toronto coach Byron Macdonald said in a university statement. “But there are potholes in any adventure and Gabe hit a huge one last year with a heavy COVID hit that kept him out of serious training for several months. With that comes doubt and lots of challenges, so it’s a strong support staff and personal drive that has gotten Gabe back to his previous form.”

Both winners receive $5,000 scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies. They were given the awards at a ceremony Wednesday in Calgary.

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