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MRDA Big O Preview by guest contributor Muckity Muck

An early-season invitational featuring MRDA-sanctioned play returns with the seventh annual “Big O” that launches Friday, May 5 at the Lane Events Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Hosted by Emerald City Roller Derby, nine leagues will compete within the MRDA’s baker’s dozen duels during the three-day event.

Within the mix are five factions that competed at last year’s MRDA finale, “Lone Star Showdown,” including the current two-time defending title-holder.

St. Louis, Missouri’s GateKeepers Roller Derby, the 2015 and 2016 MRDA Champions, have a trio of “Big O” games scheduled. Meetings with friendly rivals #3 Bridgetown Menace and #5 Puget Sound Outcasts also contain an inaugural match-up against Baja California, Mexico-based Wheels of Mayhem. GKRD (1-0) notched a 467-16 win against #24 Race City Rebels in an April 9 tune-up at its training facility.

Meanwhile surging Bridgetown, who notched a league breakthrough fourth place finish at last year’s MRDA tourney, has contests against legacy squad #8 New York and stubborn #6 Vancouver. The Menace (1-0) is primed for sanctioned play following their 567-33 mind-melter vs. #33 Lane County in early-March.

The New York Shock Exchange, a perennial MRDA Champs entrant, is 2-1 in sanctioned play heading into “Big O” following their positive outcomes at the March “Man-Ness Invitational” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The brokers claimed tight wins over #9 Magic City (149-140) and spunky host #11 Philly Hooligans (191-121).

Local favorites Puget Sound seeks an early push in the MRDA complexion with contests against St. Louis, the Wheels of Mayhem and Big O newcomers Victoria Vanguard. The Outcast (0-1) suffered a 182-130 setback to Vancouver in early April and seeks to right the ship.

The Vancouver Murder (1-0), who notched their first trip to the MRDA Champs last season, will hope to use their aforementioned win over Puget Sound to claim victories over higher-ranked Bridgetown and NYSE as well as unranked Victorian.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based #16 Glenmore Reservoir Dogs finished 2016 with a 4-4 sanctioned record and looks to impress in their second trip to Big O. The Chinook City Derby entry (0-0) has New York, #29 Lane County and Victoria Men’s on their itinerary. The Dogs possess a pair of non-sanctioned wins over Team Japan Roller Derby from the Tomodachi Derby Invitational that was held in Okinawa, Japan in early March.

Oregon-based Lane County (0-1) has an opportunity to claim wins over Wheels of Mayhem and the Reservoir Dogs. Aussie entry Victorian Vanguard claimed a 213-130 sanctioned win overunranked Sydney City Smash in early March and recently competed at the “MRDA Down Under” event in late-April.

Finally, the unranked Wheels of Mayhem, founded in 2015, enters “Big O” with a 0-2 record following sanctioned setbacks to #23 Drive-By (213-151) and unranked Antioch, California-based The Skaters Grim (194-130) in early April.

For more information on the “Big O,” go to the event’s official webpage or to the event’s official Facebook page.
BIG O LINE-UP (All times listed are Pacific)

FRIDAY, MAY 5
12 PM – New York vs. Glenmore (Track 1)
2 PM – Bridgetown vs. Vancouver (Track 3)
4:30 PM – Victoria vs. Puget Sound (Track 2)
6 PM – Lane County vs. Glenmore (Track 1)
6:30 PM – GateKeepers vs. Wheels of Mayhem (Track 2)

SATURDAY, MAY 6
10 AM – New York vs. Bridgetown (Track 1)
10 AM – Glenmore vs. Victoria Men’s (Track 3)
4:30 PM – Vancouver vs. Victoria Men’s (Track 2)
6 PM – GateKeepers vs. Puget Sound (Track 3)
6:30 PM – Lane County vs. Wheels of Mayhem (Track 2)

SUNDAY, MAY 7
2 PM – GateKeepers vs. Bridgetown (Track 3)
2:30 PM – Puget Sound vs. Wheels of Mayhem (Track 2)
4 PM – New York vs. Vancouver (Track 1)

(Teams ranked by the MRDA from the governing body’s Spring 2017 rankings.)