story by Ruth Nicolaus Kate Rathjen has set standards and goals for herself. When the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association cowgirl was a little girl, […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member: Hannah Harwager
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Hannah Harwager is in her final year of high school rodeo.
The 17-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association, competes in the goat tying, pole bending, breakaway roping, and barrel racing. Of all her events, poles are her favorite, in part because of the horse she rides. Snoopy, the horse she leases, is excellent. “Every run we make, he gives me his all,” she said. “Deep ground, whatever the circumstances may be, every run is perfect.”
For the goat tying and breakaway, she rides a six -year-old horse named Dodger, who is the smallest horse on the family’s ranch three miles south of Stapleton, Neb. Her dad started Dodger on ranch work, and Hannah took over with his goat tying instruction and, this spring, some breakaway. Dodger is a quick learner, Hannah said. “He’s doing fantastic.”
She is a senior at Stapleton High School, where her favorite class is college algebra, taught by her favorite teacher, Mr. Robert Harvey, also known as “Harv”, to differentiate him from his brother, who used to teach at Stapleton. College algebra class is online, but Harv makes a point to help Hannah. “He doesn’t have to help me, but he goes out of his way to make sure I understand it and can use it later in my life. He’s an awesome teacher.” Harv is in his fifty-first year of teaching in Stapleton, and taught Hannah’s older brother, her dad, and her uncles.
Hannah is involved in several extracurricular activities. She is secretary of her school’s National Honor Society chapter, is president of Stapleton’s FBLA chapter, is a member of Quiz Bowl, is involved in CCD, a Catholic youth group, and plays volleyball and basketball.
Hannah has qualified for state finals all three years, and for the National High School Finals this past summer, in the pole bending.
After high school, she will attend college and get a degree in radiology, with the goal of also getting a degree in reading MRIs and ultrasounds. She has just applied for the Rural Health Opportunities Program (R-HOP), a scholarship that helps pay for medical school if the recipient agrees to stay in rural Nebraska to use their degree. Hannah can see herself working in rural areas. She also hopes to college rodeo.
In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with family, which includes her older brother, J.W., who lives in Broken Bow.
She is the daughter of Jess and Heather Harwager.