Nov. 4, 2005
By Jennifer Marcus, FSU Sports Information Student Assistant
Junior captain Cedric Nabe (Geneva, Switzerland/Lyce St. Joseph) will take the track this season with an air of confidence, being one of the veteran sprinters on a deep and talented squad. The returning All-American had one of the best rookie campaigns on record, anchoring the third-place, 4x100m relay – the fastest at FSU and in college that season – to All-American honors. During that same campaign, he narrowly missed the 100m qualifying standards and the final round at nationals by one spot.
This year, Nabe is one of the most experienced sprinters the Seminoles have on the roster. He sat down with FSU Sports Information to talk about his past success and expectations for the upcoming season.
Sports Information: You have become one of the top sprinters on the NCAA East Region and ACC Champion Florida State men’s track and field program over the past few years. Would you explain to the readers a little about the events you run and what it takes to be successful at the collegiate level?
I made my first Swiss national championships (team) and I started taking it seriously.
~ Junior All-American Cedric Nabe
SI: How did you get your start in track and field?
CN: My father was a soccer player back in Africa and when we (moved) to Geneva (Switzerland) they introduced me to soccer when I was 6 years old. I played soccer for 12 years. When I went to high school, I started running track. High school sports are different from here. We do it for fun there, not seriously like here in the states. So I started doing track for fun and went to the French championships for school and I won it. Then I got a license in the Swiss club, because I used to go to high school in France, and commute back to Switzerland on the weekends. I made my first Swiss national championships (team) and I started taking it seriously. I made it to my first world junior championships in 2002 in Jamaica.
SI: That was a huge accomplishment for you to make it as one of the top rising athletes in the world to Jamaica. Is that one of your most memorable track and field moments?
CN: Yes. I didn’t know much about track at the time and (running there) really was the thing that made me realize that I really wanted to do something with track. I didn’t just want to do it just for fun. Plus I only missed the final by one spot. I went to the semi-final round and I came in sixth. I was leading the race but then I just started tightening up. People began passing me. That’s something that I need to work on.
SI: Is that when you started to get looks from college coaches?
CN: I had some schools come up to me like Notre Dame and Clemson so I decided to take all the country’s entrance exams. I decided on Florida State because I liked the weather and had great contacts with the coaches. I knew that (All-American) Laura Gerber went here and she told me about it. I read about FSU on the Internet and I knew it had great coaches and a good program so I decided to join FSU.
SI: Most people have goals of qualifying for nationals and becoming an All-American. Being that you have already accomplished those feats, what are your goals for this year?
CN: I really want to step up. The past two years I have been hurt and I haven’t enjoyed a year without injuries. So this year, my first goal is to stay healthy and I know if I stay healthy then everything else will come. After that I want to qualify for the NCAA National Championships in the 100m or 200m. We have a (talented) relay (already) so doing both the relay and (individual) events would be too much. I also want to break the Swiss national record which is 10.16.
SI: Having lived and traveled in so many different countries, you must be very cultured and know a lot of languages.
CN: Yes. My first language is Congolese, the official language of Conga, Africa. My second is French and my third is English.
SI: Having so many different cultures in your background, what did you decide to major in?
CN: Information technology because I’m all about computers. At first I chose engineering and computer science because I didn’t know the difference. In Switzerland, all they had was major classes on computers but when I came here I saw all these programs about computers so I just chose one. But then I decided on what I really wanted to do, which is to work with networks, so I chose information technology.
SI: What do you want to do once you graduate college? Do you have any intentions on training for the next Olympics or do you want to start your business now?
CN: I definitely want to make the next Olympics. I missed the last Olympics by a hundredth of a second for Switzerland. The cutoff was 10.28 and I ran 10.29.
SI: That is so close. So after you retire from competition, what do you see yourself doing?
CN: I would like to own my own company, working with computers. I want to work with a network administrator and develop part of the company in Conga. My dad tried to do one three years ago there and it didn’t work out.
SI: So do you want to move back over there?
CN: I don’t want to stay over there but I want to build the company and then teach people to take care of it. Then, I want to come back here to the states.