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It's time to roll

Local women live for derby action
By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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La Lucha and Dies Irae speed around the roller derby track as smoothly as the sweat rolls down their face. Their strong, fit legs move fluently, one right after the other, propelling them around the track faster than the other eight derby girls, as their job as jammers is to lap the field as many times as possible. For the jammers, speed is what it’s all about and La Lucha and Dies Irae have a lot of it. The physical contact, however, as they fight their way through the opposing girls whose job it is to keep them behind, is what they crave. Though they’re two of the smaller women competing, La Lucha and Dies Irae enjoy the contact they encounter as they work their way around the track. To them, the sport is therapeutic. Roller derby is what they love to do. La Lucha and Dies Irae, known to those outside of roller derby circles as Trinity Gleckler and Crisaida Hogan, respectively, are members of the Sac City Rollers, an organization that’s had girls skating in circles for six years now. Gleckler, 33, lives in Sacramento, but went to grade school at St. John’s Notre Dame in Folsom and graduated from Oak Ridge High in 1996. Hogan, 32, spent a good portion of her life living in San Francisco before moving to the area about two years ago, now living on the Cameron Park/Rescue border. As any roller derby girl will tell you, your derby name is a big part of who you are. Gleckler came up with La Lucha, which in Spanish means the fight or the struggle, because she minored in Spanish at Sac State and she thought it was a perfect tie-in to derby. Hogan, who said coming up with her name was the hardest part of derby, chose Dies Irae, which is a Latin hymn which translates to Day of Wrath. In derby circles, the women go by these names. In fact, when Gleckler was asked for Dies Irae’s “real” name, she had to stop and think about it. “We call each other by our derby names. If we use real names it usually means that we’re mad or something’s wrong,” Gleckler said with a laugh. Gleckler has been with the Rollers since February 2006, about a month after they formed. There are only three or four women that have been with the organization longer. Hogan joined the Rollers in July 2010. There are about 60 active women with the Rollers and about 110 total members in the organization, which practices and competes nearly 11 months out of the year. “I love the empowering aspects of it,” Gleckler said. “You see women who may or may not play sports just gain confidence once they join. I’ve seen girls drop 60 pounds since joining. There are ladies out here without an athletic background, but are now addicted to it. It’s also a great stress reliever. To be able to knock friends over and then pick them up and give them a hug is a pretty cool thing.” For Hogan, derby is something just for her. “I enjoy the camaraderie,” Hogan said. “I love the ladies I skate with. They’re inspiring, amazing women from all walks of life. Derby is also my way of decompressing. It’s my time to focus on myself. It’s also a great workout. We practice three days a week for three hours, both on and off skates, and to me that’s the best thing. It’s an escape for me.” For more information on the Sac City Rollers, go to saccityrollers.com.