Cross-country races can be grueling, but a student-athlete at a Montgomery County college faced an unexpected challenge during a regional championship last weekend: A deer collided into him mid-race.
Several deer darted across the course, and one rammed into Justin DeLuzio while the Gwynedd Mercy University senior was racing in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional at DeSales University in Lehigh County.
"He knocked me down pretty good," the runner told NBC Philadelphia. A teammate, Matt French, helped the runner regain his footing and finish the race.
"My last country race, his last country race and just a demonstration of camaraderie and it's what this team is all about," DeLuzio told the television station.
The collision happened about one mile into the 8K course, according to the university. DeLuzio was bruised but recovered to finish the race in 31:16.
"Justin is doing ok, he's just a little sore and bruised up," coach Kevin Clark said in a statement. "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."