HAMPTON — Hampton-Dumont’s Patty Teggatz knows both the thrill and agony of being a cross country runner.

As a freshman, Teggatz qualified for the Class 2A state meet at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge, where she finished 50th in a time of 16 minutes, 47.4 seconds.

Changes came prior to her sophomore season as the distance girls were required to run in Iowa shifted to 5,000 meters from 4,000.

Making a smooth transition to the longer distance, Teggatz headed into the state-qualifying meet in Dike with high expectations.

However, Teggatz failed to finish in the top 15 at Fox Ridge Golf Course, ending her season short of a return trip to state.

“If there’s one thing I learned from running cross country, it’s that life isn’t fair,” Teggatz said. “Last year was the perfect example of life not being fair. I felt I got robbed of making state by being in the toughest state-qualifying meet in Class 2A.”

While Teggatz was disappointed as she failed to reach her goal, it made her want to do even better this season.

“How I ended last season has been my motivation all year,” Teggatz said. “There’s days when I don’t want to get up, don’t want to push myself but then I remember that feeling I had last year. Every race I know I have to run my best.”

Despite not being ranked, Teggatz has been near the front of the pack in every race this season competing for Hampton-Dumont as she and Gisselle Guiterrez make up the Bulldogs’ varsity roster.

“It would obviously help if we had a team because it’s hard to get that mentality to push yourself in practice when you don’t have very many runners pushing you,” Teggatz said. “I just try doing the best I can with who I have to run with. It’s not an ideal situation but I don’t let it stop me from having high expectations of myself.”

Those high expectations have Teggatz racing the clock, both in practice and in meets as she prepares for redemption in Garner on Oct. 20 at the Class 2A state-qualifying meet. Part of that preparation includes researching other runners who she will compete against.

“I’ve spent a lot of time researching and comparing times of other runners that will be at the meet,” Teggatz said. “It gives me an idea of which girls I need to be running with, which girls made state last year, what their times were, all of that. I think right now I have the 11th- or 12th-best time so I’m really going to have to push myself as hard as I possibly can. I’m just hoping that everything I’ve done to prepare for next week in Garner works in my favor. That’s when everything is on the line.”