Michigan Cross-Country Runner Hit by Deer During Competition

by Quentin Blount

You may want to keep your eyes peeled the next time you go for a run. A middle school cross-country runner learned that lesson the hard way after she collided with a deer.

Madison Sylvester was running at full speed during a cross-country meet at Delta College in Michigan and evidently, a nearby deer was doing the same thing. The two collided in a serious way, knocking the five-foot-tall, 100-pound girl to her feet and leaving her disoriented. Thankfully, she is okay and now recovering.

“I was running and like having a good race, and then I heard it, and then I saw it in the corner of my eye,” Madison told ABC 12 News.

Meanwhile, Madison’s sister Maegan was also at the race. The two have been incredibly close since birth and are on the cross-country team together. Maegan gave a description of what she saw from her side of things.

“The deer came running out of the dip and it like leaped out and hit her,” Maegan explained. “She like kind of got thrown to the ground by the deer, and she was just laying there and her face was just in shock.”

That led to Maegan and some of the other girls on the team running over to check on Madison.

“I remember my sister like screaming for help and stuff and a few other girls,” Madison recalled.

Cross-Country Runner’s Father Speaks Out

The whole ordeal was an especially tough thing to see for Josh Sylvester, Madison’s father. You normally wouldn’t think that a girl and a deer running into each other would be all that devastating. But when both the girl and the deer are running at full speed and are unaware of one another, it can lead to a dangerous situation.

“The mud, the blood coming out of her nose and her mouth and she recognized me and when she said, ‘Dad,’ that was hard for me,” he admitted. “I had to bite my lip and hold it in.”

His daughter had to be taken to urgent care. While there, doctors diagnosed her with a concussion and a fractured collarbone. As a result, Madison won’t be able to run for at least a month until she is cleared. Wanting only the best for his daughter, that is something her father will take very seriously.

“Concussions are becoming more and more apparent how severe they are later on in life when they happen to you in sports. You see it all the time,” Josh said. “So there’s no better way to play it safe than just to eliminate all activity and monitor it very extensively.”

In the end, however, Madison said she isn’t going to let this deer incident hold her back from competing again in the future.

“Because running is just so great. I love it so much, and I’m super competitive.”