In order for St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby to claim their first-ever, post-season gold medal, they must embark on quite the journey.
Arch Rival, currently ranked fifth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), is the top seed at this weekend’s playoff round held in A Coruna, Spain.
With automatic placement into the event’s quarterfinals, St. Louis plays Friday night at 6 pm (11 AM St. Louis time) against the winner of the #8 Philly vs. #9 Stockholm play-in game.
The bye to the weekend’s Elite 8 was easier compared to the demands to arrive at Palacio de los Deportes de Riazor altogether.
If one drew a straight line from St. Louis, over the Atlantic Ocean, to A Coruna, the distance measured is 4,098 miles. However, the path to realistically reach the post-season tourney is much, more complicated, and expensive.
As athletes, Arch Rival craved their first-ever golden prize and they did whatever it took to get to there.
“The All-Stars are proud to head into Playoffs as the top seed,” said Arch Rival co-captain Bricktator. “This is the highest we’ve ever been ranked and we aren’t done climbing. We look forward to representing our league and our city on the international stage.”
In pre-tourney preparation, ARCH (4-3) claimed a two-game sweep at the annual Sweatfest invitational in New Orleans last month with victories over #6 Texas (253-78) and #11 Atlanta (219-100).
Pivotal to the success of the weekend, and a component to potential dominance beginning Friday, is the stellar wall work performed by blockers Smarty McFly, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Vicious Van GoGo, Jamheiser Bush, Kayla Woodward, Grant, LuxFurious, Pegasass, Fletcher and others.
Alongside the aforementioned Bricktator, jamming duties over the weekend will be paced by Annie Swanson, Psychokid D’ Freakout, Reptar, Bolt Action and the Jukes on You.
If Arch Rival wins their Friday quarterfinal, they advance to Saturday’s 6 pm (11 AM St. Louis) semifinal. Sunday’s tourney finale will be played at 5:20 pm (10:50 AM St. Louis time).
Should ARCH finish the weekend on the podium, they are guaranteed entry to the WFTDA International Championships in New Orleans come November.
However, the end goal this weekend is to come back with gold around their necks.
For information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their official website.
Arch City Media will have continuing coverage throughout the weekend.