Prior to Saturday's U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in Los Angeles we caught up with Jeanna Composti, 34, of New York to learn more about her running, how she felt when she learned she had qualified for the Trials, and her life beyond running; including, who she would most like to have lunch with, her role model, her favorite athlete, and something a bit unique about herself.  
 
This will be Jeanna’s first Olympic Trials.  
 
So let's GET TO KNOW Jeanna a bit better......

How did you start running:
I was always the little girl who ran.  I played soccer starting at age 5 and learned early on that I was quick on the field.  That translated into winning my elementary school's "mini-marathon" each year (the race was just shy of 1 mile!), which encouraged me to join track in junior high in high school.  By the 10th grade, I decided to drop soccer to focus on running full-time.  In some ways, I still feel like the little girl who runs!

 
Where did you qualify for the Trials?  
California International Marathon, 2015, 2:39:16; Chicago Marathon 2014, 2:42:34
 
Tell us about the point you realized you had  qualified for the Trials and how it felt:
Very honestly, I didn't know I "had it" -- or, at the very least, I wouldn't allow myself to think I had it -- until I crossed the line.  We all know how fickle a marathon can be, and how your body can betray you at seemingly any moment, so I would not allow my mind to celebrate even a second sooner than crossing that line!  And when I did, it was the best feeling to know that hard work does pay off. 
 
High School:  
Sachem High School, 1999
 
High School Best Times:  
800m: 2:12
1600m: 4:49
1 Mile: 4:51
 
High School Highlights:  
- National Indoor Mile Champion in 1998 as a junior in high school
- New York State champion in 1500m and 1000m, 4x800
- member of the All-American DMR team my junior year.  
 
College::  
University of Virginia 2003
 
College Best Times:  
800m: 2:10
 
College Highlights:  
All ACC in 800m as a first year
 
Club/Sponsor:  
New York Athletic Club / Brooks Running
 
Current Coach:  
Peter McNeill -- my high school coach. He started coaching me at age 15 when I joined spring track my freshman year of high school.  Nearly 20 years later, I asked if he'd coach me again, with the goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon.  Without question, I would not have qualified for the Trials without his knowledge, dedication, and patience.  I trust him implicitly and he has never failed me.  I owe him more than words can express.  Qualifying for the Trials means so much more to me knowing that I did with with Mr. McNeill.  
 
# of Olympic Trials:: 
First time qualifier
 
Occupation:
In-house legal counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
 
Something unique about you:
I quit running for 8 years from the age of 20-28 - initially due to the pressure and anxiety that I know many young runners experience.  Then, while studying for the bar exam after law school at age 28, I decided to take the plunge and reconnect with the sport I used to love.  Over the last 7 years, I built my mileage back up (a painful process in the beginning!) and found my love and passion for running again.  And it's so rewarding to cap off the last 7 years of work with a trip to the Trials with my coach from high school, where it all began.  
 
Favorite Workout:
3x2 miles at half marathon pace.  I can't tell you why, but finishing that workout always feels so satisfying.  
 
Favorite Place to Train:
Central Park!  It's the best backyard I've ever had.
 
Favorite Food:
Chocolate ice cream
 
Your Role Model:  
My parents.  They are the most dedicated, supportive, and loving parents anyone could ask for.   
 
Favorite Athlete:
I have way too many to name, so I will use this as an opportunity to say how much I admire all of my New York Athletic club teammates who work so hard and log those miles with me, side by side.  
 
Goal at the Trials: 
To set a race plan and execute it.  A PR is always nice, but more than that, I want to run a smart race and make my coach proud.
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