Rocky Mountain Rollergirls win national championships, crowned best derby team

Update: Rollergirls' spokeswoman PJ "Dangerous Leigh A'Zon" Shields called us back, after arriving in Denver from Chicago late Monday night with The Hydra trophy in tow. See her comments below the original item.

The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are officially the best.

In the final bout yesterday at the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Championships in Chicago, Denver's Rollergirls beat the Oly Rollers of Olympia, Washington, to become the 2010 national champions. The Derby News Network, which predicted the win, called the nail-biting bout "a classic."

See the full slideshow from the championships in Chicago.

The bout "was evenly matched all the way through and featured two hugely dramatic lead changes in the final two jams," wrote DNN's Justice Feelgood Marshall. "In the end, Rocky was just one point better -- but one point was all they needed to become the 2010 WFTDA Champions."

Their prize? Major bragging rights, glory for Colorado (as the first Centennial State team to win the national championship), a triumphant ending to a kick-ass season and The Hydra -- a skate-shaped trophy that will reside in Denver until next year's tournament.

We left a message for the Rollergirls' spokeswoman, PJ "Dangerous Leigh A'Zon" Shields, and will update this blog when she calls back. In the meantime, the Rollergirls' Facebook page is chock full of congratulations, including this comment from Susan Phelan:

Hey Denver media. Quit crying over the Broncos and the Buffs and get hip to the fact that the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls Fight Club just won the Natl Championship????? Want to see some amazing athleticism?? Fast skating, hard hits, and intense nail-biting action down to the last second jam to beat the defending champs.... Final score RMRG vs Oly 147-146. Congraulations ladies!!!

Congratulations, indeed! Update: Shields, who is not a member of the Rollergirl's A-team -- the 5280 Fight Club -- that competed at nationals, says the final bout of the tournament against the Oly Rollers was the most exciting to watch.

"That one-point bout was nothing short of remarkable," she says. "It really came down to the last sixteen seconds and a strategically timed time out. (Jammer) Frida Beater sealed the deal for us. Once that deal was sealed, she called off the jam. She got her points, she watched them go up on the board, she watched the lead change and she called off the jam."

The final score? 147-146.

Before beating Oly, the Rollergirls defeated the Charm City Roller Girls of Baltimore and the Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York. "These are powerhouse teams," Shields says. But the Rollergirls beat them handily, with respective scores of 165-103 and 113-79.

The Hydra is now on display at the Rollergirls' warehouse practice space in Denver. After getting a tour of the Midwest on the ride home, Shields says the skate-shaped trophy is adjusting to the altitude. It better get used to it, because with two formidable Denver teams, we bet that it's here to stay for a while.

More from our Roller Derby archive: "Our rollergirls can beat up your roller girls: Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, national champs."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar