The 2012 WFTDA Championships were, as anyone could’ve predicted, a weekend of amazing roller derby not soon to be forgotten. The teams that made it to the big dance included former Hydra winners and teams whose stellar seasons propelled them into the Top 12.
I most looked forward to watching the Denver Roller Dolls play. They are one my favorite teams to watch. They’ve worked hard this year to prove that they were ready to make it back to Champs after a third place finish in 2009. Denver beat crosstown rivals the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (2010’s Champions) back in May. They triumphed over Bay Area and took down the 2007 Champions, the Kansas City Roller Warriors. They made their way to the 3rd/4th place bout by swiftly defeating Charm City and Windy City. They secured their 3rd place finish with a mind blowing comeback against the Texas Rollergirls.
There were a lot of amazing moments throughout the weekend. Denver wheeled injured skater Caitlin “Muffin” Krause through their victory lap. Naptown became only the 4th team this year to score 100 points on Gotham. Atlanta and Naptown played a Friday night game that was narrowly won in the last 5 minutes of play.
But the real story that everyone cares about is the battle between derby titans the Oly Rollers and the Gotham Girls. Oly has placed in the top 3 at Champs every year since 2009. And last year, Gotham became the first team to be repeat champions.
Gotham is a well-oiled machine. Their skaters work together well because they’ve been playing together for so long. They went undefeated this year. In fact, they’ve been undefeated since Championships of 2010 when Rocky Mountain beat them (only by 34 points).
Oly has spent much of the year assembling an All-Star team in an attempt to defeat Gotham. Atomatrix returned to Oly after a brief stint with Arizona Roller Derby. She brought with her top names Hockey Honey, Deranged, and Psycho Babble.
Smart money had Gotham and Oly facing off for the title again. When 3 pm in Sunday rolled around, the air was thick with tension. The crowd seemed split in their support, but united in their love for good roller derby. Oly started by racking up penalties. Not even halfway through the first period, Atomatrix had 3 trips to the box. Gotham got an early lead, holding Oly scoreless for the first 8 minutes of play. Oly got back on their feet and the battle raged. There were lead changes aplenty. The game was anybody’s until Gotham locked it down in the last 10 minutes. Final score was 233-130, Gotham.