Aledo High freshmen hit by deer at cross-country practice, now qualifying for state

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ALEDO, Texas — Jack Fink, a 14-year-old freshman at Aledo High, was struck by a deer back in September while running during morning cross-country practice.

Fink said he found a passion for running. Entering his freshmen year, he joined the cross-country team.

“It’s my motive. It keeps me going through the day. And I love being out on the track and cross-country fields, across countries pretty much my favorite because I get to see new places every single time,” said Fink.

One morning at 6:10, according to Jack, the Bearcats were doing mile repeats, and while he was running, a deer charged at him, and he was hit from behind.

“We started our watches. We ran down the hill. And then I saw the sky and I saw the ground. And then I heard the ringing in my ears. And then two of my teammates were helping me up. And they put me on the golf cart,” Fink said.

Jack did not know what hit him and couldn’t believe what happened until his teammates told him. His recovery process felt “horribly long.”

“It felt like a few months, and it only been like a couple of days. I was really eager to get back to running,” Fink said.

Fink went under surgery and had six titanium screws and a plate placed in his skull.

“I got brain surgery because I had bleeding in my head,” said Fink.

He sat out for three weeks, and as soon as his doctors cleared him, he hit the track. Although, the thought of the accident will be a forever memory.

“I’m always afraid now that a deer is just gonna come out and hit me. Because it happened before. It’s gonna happen now,” Fink said.

He ran here in Lubbock for regionals Monday, being his second race back.

“I wasn’t nervous at all [Monday]. I was out there to run. I was gonna do great. And I was definitely hoping before that we were gonna make it state. And then we did, and I was like, no way. I didn’t really believe it,” Fink said.

Fink said this has taught him to never give up and never stop reaching for your goals to do what you love. When jack was ready to be back on the team, he had a lot of support from his teammates.

“At first, they were very, very concerned. And when I got back, they were just exhilarated, and they were happy having me back and really supportive of my recovery,” Fink said.

Jack and his team placed fourth overall and qualified for state at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock on November 5-6. He was ranked 40th overall and first out of the whole freshmen team.

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