Brussels women skate to victory at 8th annual Deep Blue Derby (VIDEO) | SierraSun.com

Brussels women skate to victory at 8th annual Deep Blue Derby (VIDEO)

Teams comprised of some of the top roller derby players from around the region and ones as far away as Canada and Belgium gathered at Truckee River Regional Park last weekend for the eighth annual Deep Blue Derby.

By Sunday’s final matches, players from the five teams bore the marks of two days of punishing hits and spills, sporting patches of black and blue while still looking to get in one final shot on their opponents before the evening’s final whistle.

In the end, no team could stop the women from Brussels as the Derby Pixies more than doubled the scores of each of their four opponents to capture this year’s Deep Blue title.

“We play very smart derby,” said Brussels team captain Kenny Jean. “We don’t want to tire ourselves. We don’t want to tire our jammers. We really focus on strategy.”

Roller derby is contested by two teams of five roller skaters on a track. Teams designate a jammer, who can score points by lapping the opposing team.

Brussels opened play at this year’s Deep Blue Derby on Saturday by taking a 288-47 win against Sierra Regional Roller Derby, which is made of players from around the area.

The Derby Pixies then closed Saturday’s competition by topping the Muddy River Rollers, a squad out of Canada, by a score of 192-75. Brussels opened Sunday by taking a 179-80 win against Flint Roller Derby, out of Michigan, which the Derby Pixies said was their toughest matchup of the weekend due to Flint’s physical style of play.

“Some teams on track they are very aggressive, off track they are the most lovely people,” said Jean.

“All of them were tough in different ways. Today was tougher because we already had two games on our legs.”

Brussels closed the tournament with a 181-56 victory over San Fernando.

The trip marked the first visit to the U.S. for members of the Pixies, and competition-wise, provided a rare chance to play outside.

“Honestly we really love playing outdoors,” said Jean. “It was very different for us to play teams who we’ve never met before, having a ref, who we’ve never met before, it was sort of out of our comfort zone, but it was really fun.”

The team made the trip from Belgium in order to accumulate points and move up in the world rankings. The Pixies moved from being ranked 160 in the world, according to FlatTrackStats.com, up to No. 74.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.