“Mostly, I just remember the butterflies in my stomach before I went out there,” Harvanek said of her first tryout. “But I loved it once I got to go out there and perform and show what I could do.”
Now a senior, Harvanek has made the Pom squad all four years of high school. A co-captain as a junior last year, Harvanek moved up to captain this year, along with fellow senior Cambrea Lott.
“I’m supposed to be an example for the rest of my girls,” Harvanek said. “Motivating them and keeping them motivated, sometimes it can be really hard, but it’s definitely one of the most important parts of being in the captain’s role. If you don’t look like you’re motivated, then why should they be motivated?”
Harvanek’s leadership helped the team earn several awards at a Tulsa University camp over the summer, and individually Harvanek earned a tryout to the Universal Dance Association staff. The tryout won’t be until next summer, Harvanek said, so she’s able to concentrate on this season.
The Lady Buffs’ goals this season include taking back the state title they couldn’t defend last year, then making the finals at Nationals in two separate categories.
Harvanek said competing at Nationals is “a feeling you’ve never experienced before,” but football games are still her favorite place to perform.
“With the cheerleaders, you’re all there together, and you’re all part of this game, and everyone wants (the boys) to win,” Harvanek said. “You just feel like you’re part of something bigger than your everyday life when you’re on the field Friday night.”
Once she graduates, Harvanek said she plans to go to the University of Oklahoma. She might try to walk onto the Pom squad there, and she’ll major in nursing.