CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – A deer sprinting across a field knocked over a cross-country runner at an NCAA regional race, but the runner got up and finished the race.
Saturday's episode during the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Cross Country Championships at DeSales University in Center Valley was captured on video.
Gwynedd Mercy University senior Justin DeLuzio was competing in the 8K race when someone yelled, "Watch out for the deer!" A deer struck him in the stomach, and he fell to the ground as more deer ran across the course.
"I turn my head a little bit to the left, and he comes right there," DeLuzio told WCAU-TV. "He knocked me down pretty good."
A teammate helped DeLuzio to his feet, and he finished the race, placing 294th. The Gwynedd team finished 46th out of 52 schools taking part.
Gywnedd head coach Kevin Clark told The Express-Times newspaper, of Easton, that his team could have finished much higher.
"All three of these guys could have run significantly faster if this did not happen but made sure their guy was fine," Clark said.
The team says DeLuzio, of Limerick, was bruised but otherwise fine. DeLuzio considers himself lucky.
"I know if that deer was a little bit bigger I could have been in serious trauma," he said.