The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s and women’s swimming teams added to their trophy case after magnificent performances this past weekend at the 2023 OUA championships in London, Ont. The men (790.5 points) pushed their win streak of OUA titles to a jaw-dropping 19 years in a row, while the women (1207 points) have won it nine straight times.
OUA female swimmer of the year Aleksa Gold was true to her name, earning two gold medals on day one. In the 50-metre backstroke, the fourth-year global health and environmental studies student clocked in at 28.40 seconds and was the only swimmer to go under two minutes in the 200-metre freestyle, finishing in 1:58.54. Gold also earned the OUA community service award.
The Blues men’s and women’s teams notched victories in the 4x100 medley relay. On the women’s side, Haley Klenk, Madeline Spencer, Teagan Vander Leek, and Lily Chubaty took the gold in a time of 4:09.61. The men’s team consisting of Carter Buck, Gabe Mastromatteo, Michael Sava, and Bernard Godolphin, posted a time of 3:40.73.
2020 Olympian and OUA male swimmer of the year Gabe Mastromatteo took home gold medals in the 100-metre breaststroke, 4x50 freestyle relay and 4x100 medley relay.
The performance of the day went to Shona Branton of the host Western Mustangs, earning a gold medal in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke in an OUA record time of 1:08.19.
Gold kept the golds coming as the U of T swimmer won the women’s 100-metre backstroke in 58.95 seconds, while Blues teammates Hayley Klenk and Angelica Bath placed second and third, respectively.
OUA female rookie of the year, Toronto’s Nina Mollin, snagged a gold medal in the 200-metre fly, clocking a time of 2:13.54. Teammates Katie Marovino and Caroline Carruthers finished second and third to complete the sweep.
There were two more Blues sweeps on the women’s side for day two. In the 400-metre freestyle, Claire Howard won in 4:12.80, and in the 50-metre fly, Ainsley McMurray claimed the top spot in 27.50 seconds.
The Blues men's and women's 800-metre freestyle relay teams were also victorious, swimming to a time of 7:31.80 (men’s) and 8:14.79 (women’s).
Buck added another gold medal to the collection, winning the 100-metre backstroke in 54.81 seconds. The Blues went 1-2 in the 200-metre fly, with OUA rookie of the year Ben Loewen taking gold in 1:58.59 seconds, while Michael Sava grabbed second place in 1:59.80.
Cameron Johnsen of McMaster won the 200-metre breaststroke in 2:11.98, and in the 50-metre fly, Waterloo Warrior Lukas Wormald earned first-place honours finishing in 24.34 seconds.
Three OUA records were set on the final day of the championships, all by Toronto Blues. McMurray captured gold in the women’s 100-metre freestyle in 54.06 seconds, Mastromatteo won the men’s 50-metre breaststroke in 27.60 seconds, and the women’s 400 freestyle relay team finished in a blistering time of 3:42.25.
Jacob Gallant won the men’s 200-metre individual medley in a time of 2:01.17, while teammate Loewen came second in a time of 2:02.79. Loewen also earned gold in the men’s 200-metre backstroke. Quinn Matteis received a gold medal in the men’s 1500-metre freestyle, swimming 15:39.26.
Western’s Branton earned her second individual gold medal of the meet in the women’s 50-metre breaststroke, while Gold picked up two more golds on the final day in the women’s 200-metre medley relay and 200-metre backstroke. Mollin won the 200-metre individual medley, and Anna Hein took the top spot in the women’s 800-metre freestyle in a time of 8:44.90.
Final team standings
- Toronto Varsity Blues - 1207 points
- Western Mustangs - 777.5 points
- Guelph Gryphons - 478 points
- McMaster Marauders – 428 points
- Waterloo Warriors - 339.5 points
- Queen's Gaels – 144 points
- Brock Badgers – 129 points
- Carleton Ravens - 122 points
- Laurier Golden Hawks - 103 points
- York Lions - 36 points
- Toronto Varsity Blues - 790.5
- Western Mustangs – 726 points
- Waterloo Warriors – 604 points
- McMaster Marauders – 512 points
- Guelph Gryphons - 227.5 points
- Brock Badgers – 190 points
- Carleton Ravens – 181 points
- Queen's Gaels 180 points
- Laurier Golden Hawks – 173 points
- York Lions – 129 points