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Cross-country runner trampled by deer during race, gets back up

By Ben Hooper
Cross-country runner trampled by deer during race, gets back up
Cross-country runner Justin DeLuzio is struck by a deer while running a race in Pennsylvania. Screenshot: Centre Daily Times

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A cross country runner's final race of his college career hit a snag in Pennsylvania when he was trampled by a deer -- and the incident was caught on camera.

Justin DeLuzio, a senior at Pennsylvania's Gwynedd Mercy University, was running Saturday in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Cross Country Championships at DeSales University in Center Valley, Penn., when four deer abruptly ran across the course.

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"I turn my head a little bit to the left and he comes right there," DeLuzio told WCAU-TV.

A video recorded by spectator Eric Bologa and posted to Facebook shows one of the deer barrel straight into DeLuzio.

"He knocked me down pretty good," DeLuzio said.

Teammate Matt French helped DeLuzio back to his feet and accompanied him as he finished the race, albeit with a bruised hip and a sore body.

"My last country race, his last country race and just a demonstration of camaraderie and it's what this team is all about," DeLuzio said of French.

DeLuzio, a potential Valedictorian for his graduating class, said the incident could have been much worse.

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"I was lucky," DeLuzio said. "I was fortunate. I know if that deer was a little bit bigger I could have been in serious trauma."

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