New York's Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars were the big winners at the 2011 Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championships at the 1st Bank Center this weekend, beating out West Region champs the Oly Rollers Cosa Nostra Donnas, 140-97. Gotham Girls also trounced the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls 5280 Fight Club -- local favorites and defending champs -- and Austin's Texecutioners on the way to winning the Hydra Trophy.
The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls 5280 Fight Club won its opening bout on Friday, dispatching Nashville's Music City All-Stars 198-58, but lost to Gotham 187-134 on Saturday. Despite ousting the local heroes, Gotham became the clear fan favorite from that point on: The Oly Rollers, 2009 WFTDA champs and last year's second-place finishers, have a long history of dominating the flat track derby circuit, and the crowd at the 1st Bank Center seemed primed to root against them.
Semi-finals on Saturday ended up being quite a smash-up, with Gotham beating the Texecutioners 195-113 (the dude in the crowd wielding a chainsaw and shouting "Kill! Kill! Kill!" sure was pissed) and Oly rolling over the the Kansas City Roller Warriors 124-104 (though we'll give the Warriors' "Kansass City" booty shorts the win for the weekend's best uniform touch). Texas went on to beat Kansas for third place in Sunday's consolation round.
Sunday's finals were the match-up most roller derby fans had predicted: The Gotham Girls came into the tournament as the East Region champions, after an undefeated season. The Oly Rollers came in as the West Region champions (they beat Rocky Mountain Rollergirls in the Bridgetown Brawl West Region Playoffs last month), also capping off an undefeated season.
Fans looking for a fight got what they came for: Oly Rollers skaters spent a total of 48 minutes in the penalty box, to Gotham's 37 minutes, and two of Oly's top skaters, Sassy and Tannibal Lector, were ejected from the game. That helped shift the balance to Gotham, pouncing on power plays to run the score up, for a final score of 140-97.
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Next year's WFTDA Championship tournament will be hosted by the Atlanta Rollergirls, November 2-4, 2012.
Local fans will have two more chances to catch some roller derby action this season: The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls will host an Air Force vs. Army Mixup Bout at the RMRG War*house, 5200 Smith Road, on November 19, as well as a holiday-themed bout -- Kill Scouts' Grinches vs. the Ho Ho Hoes -- on December 10.