The weekend before Thanksgiving, while others were getting ready for turkey and pumpkin pie, some of the women from Team United were traveling to sunny Florida along with Coaches Mark Muse and Hurricane Katrina. A new roller derby tournament, called State Wars, was set to take place, including men’s and women’s teams from 19 states, and Team Iowa was ready to roll.
Coach Mark held tryouts in the spring for any skaters living in Iowa who wanted to participate. Women from several teams across the state came together to work on skills, drills and scrimmaging to earn their chance to represent Iowa. The roster was selected over the summer and the Team Iowa skaters joined Team United at practice so they could learn to work together and create new strategies.
On the first day of competition, Team Iowa beat Maine 307-77 and then took a surprise victory over New York (181-159), starting some buzz around the tournament. A passing skater even suggested #iowawhoknew as a t-shirt slogan.
Day 2 saw Team Iowa continue with a win over Massachusetts (209-113), earning a rematch against New York to battle for the top seed from the bracket. Iowa won again (146-139) and both teams moved on to Sunday’s finals.
Team Iowa faced off Sunday morning against Team Florida. Penalty trouble left Iowa short on the track, allowing Florida to take the win, 210-169. Sunday’s brackets were single elimination, so Team Iowa did not continue to the final four (Florida went on to be walloped by Colorado, who won the tournament).
Despite the contentious loss to Florida, Team Iowa felt the weekend overall was a victory. Not only did they play some great derby, but they got their names out to the wider derby community, showing that Iowa is a state full of derby talent.