Football and financial aid
December 19, 2023
Danielle McIltrot wins second annual Cockpit HENergy Challenge
Danielle McIltrot was announced as this year's winner of the second annual Cockpit HENergy Challenge hosted by Delaware Athletics. The contest is simple: attend every home University of Delaware football game and be eligible to win the $15,000 off tuition or eligible student aid.
McIltrot, a senior English major and UD World Scholar from Sykesville, Maryland, made it a point to attend UD games even prior to her excitement for the HENergy Challenge.
"I have always loved watching sports and since it is my senior year, I wanted to make an extra effort to attend sporting events on campus, especially the football games," McIltrot said.
Students had to brave some difficult weather conditions to make it to all home games this season, but Danielle found light at the end of the tunnel knowing the possibility of winning a major prize loomed at the finish line.
"Even if some games were easier to attend than others, it was so rewarding to know my support for the athletic department wasn't going unnoticed," McIltrot said. "The fact that there could be a $15,000-sized weight taken off of me for my final semester at UD helped."
The winner was announced at the Delaware women's basketball game against Old Dominion, and as one could expect, she was stunned to hear the result.
"When I heard my name called, I was in so much shock," McIltrot said. "I still am, I think. When I heard my first name, I thought 'oh, it's definitely a different Danielle,' but then when I heard my last name, I didn't know what to do with myself."
More than 200 students were piled into the student section at the Bob Carpenter Center, hoping to hear their name called.
"I don't think the excitement really hit until I got back to my roommates and everyone in the student section was congratulating me," McIltrot said. "It was surreal."