January 22, 2019
YoUDee, cheerleaders and dancers win titles
The University of Delaware won three national championships Jan. 18-20 in cheerleading, dance and — yes, once again — mascot.
Competing at the Universal Cheerleading Association/Universal Dance Association national championships at Walt Disney World Resort, the Blue Hens took home titles in Gameday Co-Ed Cheerleading, Mascot and Hip-Hop Dance. It's the first time in program history that UD took home titles in the three areas.
"Our spirit teams have had a great presence at the UCA/UDA college national championships over the years, but 2019 was particularly special for our Spirit Program,” UD Spirit Coordinator and Head Cheer Coach Rob Ellery said. “We are blessed with great resources and support from our administration and I am thankful that our coaches (Risa Levine, Kirby Lynch and Tony Goldston) go above and beyond to help our athletes develop as athletes and leaders. We are thrilled that YoUDee, our dancers and our cheerleaders were able to experience national championships and represent the University of Delaware in highly competitive divisions."
Ellery thanked the UD athletic department, especially Stacey Bunting-Thompson, senior associate athletic director for external relations and brand management, who traveled with the team to the competition in Orlando.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to continue to represent Delaware at the national championship each year while supporting the Blue Hens on the field and on the court,” Ellery said.
UD’s mascot, YoUDee, used a space-themed routine to return to the top spot in the national championship competition, after a off-year in 2018. This is the eighth national title for YoUDee.
This year marked the second straight year that Delaware came away with at least one national championship after the dance team won the jazz dance title in January of 2018. Overall, the spirit squads have now won 18 national championships (eight from mascot, six from dance and four from cheer).
In addition to the national championships, Delaware added two other top-10 performances: fifth-place in the Division I Small Co-Ed Cheer and eighth-place in the Division I Jazz Dance competition.
"This weekend was truly a dream come true,” said Briana Filippini, a senior cheerleader. “I have been cheering my entire life and I ended my career with winning college nationals! Competing in game day this year was a blast and we gained a new appreciation and love for all of our traditions. Between our game day team, hip hop team, and YoUDee, everyone from our spirit program is going home a national champion, and we are so proud.”