think it’s about as good as it’s going to be," Morgan said.
Doctors told her high impact sports, such as getting off
your horse at high speed in the goat tying, are out of the
question. But if she chooses to, she could run and play
The hip isn’t 100 percent, either, but it will be. Four
screws hold it in place, and within a few years, it will be
healed completely. She can ride, and plans to compete this
spring for her her third year of high school rodeo.
Morgan, a member of the Nebraska High School Rodeo
Association, and her header, Clayton Simons, are ranked
second in the NHSR standings in the team roping, and she
is ranked fifth in the breakaway. She qualified for state
finals her freshman and sophomore years, and last year
qualified for the National High School Finals in the team
roping with her older brother, Cody. At the 2016 state
finals, she set a finals record in the breakaway roping with
a time of 2.13 seconds.
The surgeries have given Morgan a focus on her career.
She had originally thought about being a teacher, but is
now considering physical therapy.
"I’ve spent a lot of time (in physical therapy) and it
seems like something I would enjoy," she said. "All of my
doctors and physical therapists have strongly encouraged
me to go into the medical field."
She has the grades for it. She is on the all-A honor roll
at Gordon-Rushville and is a National Honor Society
and FFA member. She has competed at the state FFA
competition the last two years; once in ag science and once
in livestock judging.
The surgeries have made her mature, too, her mom said.
"Lots of times with doctors, she asks her own questions.
She’s very positive. She’s been through a lot in three
years," Stacey said.
And this June, Morgan plans to be at the state finals
rodeo in Hastings.
The Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo will be held in
Hastings at the Adams County Fairgrounds June 15-17.
Tickets are $7 for everyone ages 5 and up and are available
through the office and at the gate. For more information,
com, or call 402-462-3247.
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Morgan Darnell, who has had four surgeries in four years, breakaway ropes at the Nelson, Neb. high school rodeo in the fall of 2016. The Gordon cowgirl is
recovering from hip dysplasia. Photo by Stacey Darnell