SOUTHAMPTON's contingent of senior men faced unusually sticky conditions in the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill Fields in London, writes Wendy Gee.

The underfoot mud and running slime were the worst ever seen around the course, resulting in record numbers of competitors dropping out before completing the nine-mile event.

John Withey led the SRC charge in 571st place followed by Peter Staunton 623rd, Ian Richardson 624th, Ian Burgess 660th, Gordon Whelan 749th, Dave Roots 751st and Dave Adams 807th in a field of over 1200 finishers.

Basingstoke & Mid-Hants' Angela Newport took silver in the senior women's event with Hampshire champion Kath Bailey of Havant finishing seventh.

Bournemouth's Louise Damen lifted the under-20 women's title, but Aldershot ace Chris Thompson was a non-starter in the junior men's race through illness.

Southampton City girls attained excellent team positions, finishing fourth at under-13 level and fifth in the under-15s.

Sasha Mucci was first home for the under-13s in 22nd place, while Laura Brenton led the under-15 charge with an exceptional sixth.

Southampton City results - Under-13 girls: 22 Sasha Mucci, 33 Lucy Bowers, 46 Sally McGrandle, 55 Jodie Bowers, 103 Dominique Mucci, 117 Charlotte Benning, 141 Ashley Sheath.

Under-15 girls: 6 Laura Brenton, 40 Claire Gallant, 80 Jade Davies, 98 Tina Walker, 138 Kate McGrandle. Under-17 women: 27 Amy Tanner, 54 Joanne Yonoff.

* Southampton RC member Mark Cooper, now a resident of Bristol, won an eight-mile road race in South Wales. He is looking to attack a major half-marathon at Fleet or Reading during March.