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'On guard' at the Air Force Academy.

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Epee (pronounced ay-pay') isn't an imported bottled water or something you see at the opera. It's a fencing sport. Just like any other sport, if you excel at it, doors of opportunity can open for you. For Cadet 3rd Class Weston "Seth" Kelsey, epee has done lust that.

Ten years ago, that's half of his life folks, his friend got him interested in the sport. After putting much time and effort Into fencing, he competed locally, nationally and internationally. Fencing let him travel beyond the Bush Prairie, Wash,, city limits. Later, in his teens, he picked an Air Force Academy education over universities like Notre Dame and Penn State.

Why the academy? He felt the academy provided better opportunities after graduation. But the coach was also an important factor. The fencing coach, Abdel Salem, was acquainted with Kelsey's former coach. Kelsey was the country's number one recruit, and Salem decided he had what it takes.

Since he started fencing for the Falcons, Kelsey's made varsity two years running and is a member of the U.S. Junior Team. He's also been an NCAA All-American two years in a row.

"The Air Force has taught him to be tougher, wiser and more mature," Salem said. He thinks the cadet's on his way to becoming a member of the 2004 Olympic Team.
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Title Annotation:cadet Weston "Seth" Kelsey excels in fencing sport
Author:Lasky, John
Publication:Airman
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:226
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