Deer annihilates cross country runner during race (vid)
Gwynedd Mercy University cross country runner Justin DeLuzio probably barely saw it coming when a deer absolutely annihilated him last weekend during an NCAA Division III Mideast Regional event in Pennsylvania.
DeLuzio, a senior from Limerick, Pa., was sent head over heels due to the force of the collision with the deer, which was part of a large herd bounding through the race site at DeSales University. The incident occurred about a mile into the race.
“Justin is doing OK, he’s just a little sore and bruised up,” Gwynedd Mercy University head coach Kevin Clark said, via the school’s website. “We were worried about his health for a while but we’re proud to see him fight through this along with his teammates, get up and finish his last collegiate cross country race.”
Matt French, a fellow Gwynedd Mercy University runner, helped his teammate up and ran with him the rest of the race.
“DeLuzio was very bruised up from the collision but fought through the remainder of the race with French right along with of him to make sure he was OK in a true showing of camaraderie and sportsmanship,” the school said.
“I turn my head a little bit to the left and he comes right there,” DeLuzio told NBC Philadelphia. “He knocked me down pretty good.”
That would be a minor understatement. Or a huge, just-got-plowed-over-by-a-speeding-wild-animal kind of understatement.
DeLuzio finished the 8K in 31:16, coming in 294th.
All things considered, the fact alone he finished the race is a victory in and of itself. After all, the poor guy was absolutely trucked by a deer moving at top speed. In fact, it’s a minor miracle DeLuzio wasn’t seriously injured.
“I would definitely say there’s relatively low risk in future deer-related injuries in cross-country,” DeLuzio said. “I’m just really fortunate for how it did happen. It could’ve been so much worse.”