Justin DeLuzio, a senior on the Gwyneed Mercy University men’s cross country team, was a little more than a mile into his final collegiate race on Saturday when, out of nowhere, he was run over by a deer that had stampeded across the course.
The incident, which was captured on video by a Facebook user named Eric Bolonga, shows a pack of runners making their way through a bucolic Pennsylvania field. Then, several deer storm across the frame toward the runners. Someone yells “watch out for the deer!”, and then DeLuzio is blindsided and thrown backwards by one of the animals, landing hard on the ground.
The video cuts out right then, but according to Gwyneed Mercy’s write-up, DeLuzio got up and managed to finish the race despite some bruising and soreness.
Here’s the video, which has been circulated widely on Facebook:
Said Gwyneed Mercy’s cross country coach afterwards: “Justin is doing OK, he’s just a little sore and bruised up. 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.”
DeLuzio’s time in the 8k race was 31:16. That’s sub-6:30 pace for roughly five miles, which is impressive in its own right and a legitimately heroic feat after the hit sustained by a deer with NFL aspirations.
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