POOLE'S Fiona Hardie won a trio of gold medals as she made a winning debut as a masters swimmer at the ASA National Masters Championships.

Littledown’s Dave Hembrow and Nigel Foster also made the podium as they joined almost 1,000 other adult swimmers at Sheffield.

Hardie, 22, who recently returned after four years as a student and swimmer at Philadelphia’s Villanova University in the US, won the 18-24yrs 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley at Ponds Forge with times of 1:01.48, 1:03.95 and 2:21.21.

She was also second in the 50m freestyle in 26.40.

Hardie, who is targeting a place in the Scotland team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said: “I really enjoyed it – it was so cool.

“In clubs, I feel very old these days but suddenly I was one of the youngest in the pool. It was nice being around a different group of people.”

Hembrow, 69, who swam for Britain at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, struck gold four times, winning the 65-69yrs 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle in 1:11.29, 2:38.28, 5:28.64 and 21:50.93.

Foster, 66, completed a one-two for Littledown with silver in the 200m freestyle (2:40.28) and a one-three with bronze in the 100m (1:12.21).

Foster, who holds two 65-69yrs British records for backstroke, made the top step of the podium after winning the 100m and 200m backstroke in 1:19.99 and 2:52.98.

Littledown coach Sam Woodward said: “Having Dave and Nigel going head to head in the same age group added extra spice, especially in the week leading up to the competition.”

Littledown’s Cathy Hartle, swimming for elite masters squad Spencer, came fourth and fifth in the 55-59yrs 1500m and 400m freestyle.

Hardie, Hembrow and Foster will all be swimming for Dorset in the ASA National Inter-county Masters later this month.

• Poole will be heading back to Millfield for their second round National Arena League fixture just a month after the team bus crash as they approached the same venue for round one.

The Dorset team have been drawn against United Bristol, Soundwell, City of Cardiff, Nofio Sir Gar and Salisbury for the 1pm gala on November 12.

Poole were within a few hundred yards of the Millfield School pool last month when their team bus ploughed into a hedge, ripping of the door and throwing team manager Mike Smith face down in the road.

Smith, whose injuries included broken ribs and facial cuts and bruises, is hoping to be back on poolside for round two.

Fellow Premier Division team Swim Bournemouth will be heading for Weston-super-Mare on November 12 to take on Keynsham, Millfield, Swansea, Street and Severnside Tritons.

In Division One, Christchurch-based Seagulls will be one of three Dorset clubs in the 4pm Millfield gala.

Their opponents will be West Dorset Warriors, Tornadoes of South Dorset, Chard, RCT Performance, Torfaen Dolphins and Cirencester.