A Cross Country Runner Got Completely Demolished By A Deer During A Race

It’s hunting season across much of America, and deer are fighting back by obliterating cross country runners encroaching on their forest homes.

Justin DeLuzio learned that the hard way when a deer slammed into him during a cross country race in Pennslyvania last weekend. The senior at Gwynedd Mercy University was about a mile into the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional when someone suddenly cried out “WATCH OUT FOR THE DEER.”

He did not watch out for the deer.

DeLuzio was sent running shoes over racing bib into a bit of tall brush while the rest of his competition somehow avoided any mayhem. Eric Bologna, a former cross country runner at Shippensburg University, captured the video and posted it to Facebook with the caption that says “who says Cross Country isn’t a contact sport?”

A write up on the Gwynedd Griffins website has a pretty spectacular recap of the incident.

Justin DeLuzio literally ran into some bad luck as a very rare and unfortunate accident happened. Just after the first mile, he was knocked to the ground, flipped over head over heels by a deer that ran across the course, crashing into him and over him. Teammate Matt French saw this happened, and stopped to get Justin back on his feet and would run next to him the remainder of the race.

The recap says DeLuzio had some bruises but continued to finish the race.

“Justin is doing OK, he’s just a little sore and bruised up.” Griffins cross country coach Kevin Clark said. “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 finished 302nd in the race, which seems a bit unfair considering a deer tried to knock him back into a life of subsistence farming.

Somehow this isn’t the first time a cross country runner was crushed by a deer this year. Kayla Casaletto, a runner for Cedarville University, had a deer crash into her at the National Christian College Athletic Association’s national cross country championships at Houghton, NY in July.

“The trees and bushes started shaking,” she recalled Monday after returning to Cedarville’s campus. “There were these loud like crunching noises. We were thinking, what is that? Then this deer just blazes out of the forest and I had no time to think. It ran straight into my legs and knocked me over.”

Then there’s this tweet, which is … ominous.

Stay safe out there, everyone. Maybe use a treadmill to get some miles in for a few days, just in case.