Mile High Club vs. 5280 Fight Club: The crosstown roller derby rivalry heats up

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Although the Denver Roller Dolls and Rocky Mountain Rollergirls are often billed as crosstown rivals, their traveling all-star teams hardly ever skate against each other: The last time DRD's Mile Club and RMRG's 5280 Fight Club competed directly was at the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championship tournament in 2009. Saturday's matchup at the 1STBANK Center ought to be quite a spectacle, and not just because it's a rare one: On paper, they're two of the most closely-matched teams in roller derby, and local derby fans on either side of the aisle are in for some jostling as the two teams jostle for position in the lead-up to the WFTDA's West Region Playoffs and 2012 Championship tournament.

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WFTDA's 1st Quarter rankings have RMRG as the #2 team in the West Region, behind Olympia, Washington's Oly Rollers and ahead of Portland's Rose City Rollers, with DRD in the #4 slot. But a lot has happened since those rankings (based on standings through the end of March) were released a month ago: DRD whupped up on the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls 235-97 at their last home bout at 1STBANK Center, but lost 151-115 to the Rose City Rollers last weekend in Portland. RMRG lost 160-113 to the Bay Area team in April, which DRD's PR department is spinning thusly: "Based on triangulation of results against Bay Area, Denver is expected to win."

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A more current stat is the Derby News Network (DNN) May Power Ranking, which puts DRD at #2 nationally, behind New York's Gotham Girls (the defending 2011 WFTDA champs) and has RMRG way down at #9. DNN is calling Saturday's bout "a key regional matchup in what's quickly shaping up to be the most wide-open race for the West crown in the history of the young sport," and notes that the result will likely have seeding implications for the West Region Playoffs in Oakland, California in September.

"In addition to being a great local rivalry, Saturday's game has the potential to significantly shake things up in the Western region," writes locally-based DNN commentator Dave Wood, in his preview of Saturday's bout. "A Rocky Mountain win against Denver would present a real challenge for member leagues charged with ranking the region's best in advance of the Western Region tournament."

Here are the rosters for Saturday's bout, via DenverRollerDolls.org:

Denver Roster: 4 Jessica Rivas // 5 Deirdre Sage // 9v Vicky Cruz // 19 Julie Adams // 20 Monica Carson // 24 Sandrine Rangeon // 28 Krisana Barrett // 307 Shaina Serelson // 357 November James // 719 Amanda Sharpless // 831 S.H. Long // 1982 Ariel Quigley // 99 Tracy Akers // 303 Heather Juska

Rocky Mountain Roster: 00 Urrk'n Jerk'n as Booty Block Ya // 9 Amanda Jamitinya // 10 RoboFlow // 30 Rad Die // 37 Bob Loblaw // 86 Assaultin' Pepa // 99 May Q. Pay // 122 Casstrator // 202 Frida Beater // 422 Gaygan // 378 Toxic Taunic // 9er Uber Alice // M80 Sweet Mary Pain // 31 Fiona Grapple

Doors open at 6 p.m. for Saturday's triple-header bout at the 1STBANK Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane (in addition to the all-star team matchup, DRD's Bruising Altitude will be skating against RMRG's Contenders, and the two leagues are also bringing their junior squads, DRD's Glitterdome Gladiators and RMRG's Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks). Tickets start at $17 in advance or $22 at the door; kids 12 and under are free. To pick up advance tickets without any pesky ticketing fees, visit Derbyville (the Westword Best of Denver 2012 "Best Roller Derby Duds" winner) at 1407 South Broadway.

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