Kara Shen is recovering from her experience at XC state champs. One that no one else would want.

Kara Shen is recovering, back in school, and looking forward to the time when she can run again.

Kara, if you recall, was the Central Bucks East junior who was knocked down and kicked by a deer at the top of the second of the Aloha Hills on November 6th in the girls' AAA race in the state championships.

At first, she says, she thought it was a man wearing brown pants running onto the course. It wasn't.

A woman and fan who was nearby immediately helped her from the course so she would not incur further injury from other runners. "The fan said to me, 'honey, you got hit by a deer'." Shen was conscious the whole time, and soon found herself in a cart headed for trainer's tent.

Head coach Matt Catinalla says Shen was more upset with not being able to finish the race. "It was a shame for her" said her coach. "She was running her best race of the season."

She was diagnosed with a mild concussion and a small fracture on the left side of her nose and cheek. "There was no displacement," Shen told PennTrackXC a week after her harrowing experience. "I'm doing a lot better the last two days. The whole week, I was dizzy and had headaches," she shared.

The experience was supposed to be entirely different. The week before, Central Bucks East had become the first girls' XC team in school history to ever qualify for States.

Shen says she had been considering running indoor for the first time, but has been sidelined by her injuries for at least a month. With a concussion - even one termed mild - she is taking a cautious approach.

Shen said that the support of her coaches Sam Losorelli and Catinella and her teammates has been especially helpful this week. Injured early in the season and unable to train, Shen says it was their support  that even helped her get back to training so she'd have an opportunity to run at states. "They made sure I felt like I could do something with the season."

She did. They did.

Asked if she'd like to race again at the Hershey Parkview course, Shen didn't hesitate with her answer. "Of course I would. It's states. This was just a freak accident."