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Let the games begin

The track and field events at the 2010 AAU Junior Olympic Games open up on Monday, Aug. 2 with action every day at Norfolk State’s Dick Price Stadium through Saturday, Aug. 7.

The AAU Junior Olympic Games bring together the best young athletes, ages 5-18, in a wide variety of sports.

Beach volleyball at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is one of 11 sports taking place around the region Saturday.

Nansemond-Suffolk rising sophomore and varsity volleyball player Parys Zambas is playing in the 14-and-under beach volleyball tournament with partner Kelsey Sumner.

Zambas/Sumner will be facing teams from Illinois, Florida and Canada in the pool play portion of the tournament, which is set for Saturday and Sunday at courts along Atlantic Ave. from 5th St. to 12th St.

Admission to the beach volleyball matches is free.

The Suffolk Stars Track Club, which practices at Lakeland High School and is coached by Lakeland teacher and coach Greg Rountree, has 25 athletes running, jumping and throwing in the track and field competition.

For those who can’t make the drive to Norfolk, there’s a video webcast, with live and on-demand options, of track and field events at aaujrogames.org.

“It’s big because the kids get to run versus kids from all over the country. We look forward to the Junior Olympics because it’s the best chance of the season to find out exactly where you stand,” said Rountree.

“New kids hear about it from a friend. Sometimes we’ve had a kid bring in their medals for show and tell and then we get two or three friends who want to join,” Rountree said.

Rountree said he had about 15 Stars who are now Junior Olympic veterans, with the rest of his qualifiers being rookies to the national event.

Kiera Rountree in the shot put, Jaquan Demiel in the 110-meter hurdles and 400 hurdles, and Andrew Gould in the 400 are looking to build on their AAU state championships.

A daily pass ticket to all competition venues on a certain day is $12 for spectators age 7 and up. A “passport” ticket to all venues on all days of the Games is $40. Tickets are available at Dick Price Stadium, the Virginia Beach Convention Center or other venues hosting events during the Games.