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A Cross Country Runner Got Pummeled by a Deer During a NCAA Race

"I turned to my left and boom — my feet are in the air"

Justin DeLuzio just ran a NCAA regional cross country race that he’ll surely never forget. Not only did DeLuzio have to compete against fellow runners, but he was battling forces of nature as well. Less than a mile after starting, the Gwynedd Mercy University senior got pummeled by a deer in his last collegiate race, Fox Sports reports.

Video of the incident shows DeLuzio go flying as deer run across the course. A spectator warned DeLuzio about the oncoming of the animals, but he hardly had time to react. DeLuzio told Fox Sports the animals lifted him “off the ground.”

“I turned to my left and boom — my feet are in the air,” he said.

DeLuzio was unsure as to what his next steps should be in the race after getting clipped. DeLuzio said he “sat there in disbelief” and pondered whether or not to get up and keep running. “Part of me was like ‘This is your last race! Get up!’ while the other part like ‘I just got hit by a deer! Take a breath and acknowledge what just happened!’” he said.

DeLuzio ultimately got up and continued running with the help of his teammate Matt French. The two racers finished the course together, and DeLuzio applauded his teammate’s camaraderie: “French, he’s a senior like me. … And he sacrificed his potential best time of the season for me.”

[Fox Sports]

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