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Fairbanks Rollergirls collide with Hawaiian team

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Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2010 4:09 am | Updated: 1:13 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS—TaRaZya Bita Hell does hair in Fairbanks. A-bombinatrix works in the bounty hunter and bail bonds business in Hawaii.

On Friday night, they relieved occupational stress by skating as jammers, or scorers, in a roller derby bout at the Carlson Center.

TaRaZya Bita Hell, whose real name is Teresa Messina, often hustled around the flat oval for the Fairbanks Rollergirls All-Stars. The Pacific Roller Derby All-Stars, which consists of players from around Hawaii, often relied on the quickness of A-bombinatrix, whose off-track identity is 26-year-old Frances McGee.

Messina and McGee ocasionally got physical, too, as blockers in the bout which Pacific won 152-72.

“I’m nice to people all day long, I help them get into a better mood and feel better about themselves,” 36-year-old Messina said of her hairstylist persona, “and on this track, I get to come out here and get some of my internal aggression out, put myself in a better mood and make myself feel good about who I am.”

McGee manages a lot of paperwork at her job on the island of Oahu, so she welcomes any chance to skate out her aggression — even it’s more than 3,000 miles north in Fairbanks.

“Anyone who has a clerical job or admin work can completely understand that after a long day of filing and looking at papers for eight hours, you kind of want to hit something,” she said, “so roller derby is a good outlet.”

Speed, power and positioning helped Pacific get out far ahead on the scoreboard..

“They had excellent timing as far as their blocking strategy and being able to get that front wall and control the pack,” Messina said. “They were able to maintain that front wall and control the pack, and it was really impossible to get that past them, almost.”

The Pacific All-Stars couldn’t control the subzero weather outside the arena, but they didn’t want to. The team had raised money since September to pay for the trip, which includes a bout tonight in Anchorage against the Rage City Rollergirls.

“It’s fantastic; we love it,” McGee said. “It’s a treat to be on a tropical island and then to come out (to Alaska) and see Christmas-time things. On the island, all you’ve got is Christmas tree ornaments on palm trees and that’s not very Christmasy. So everyone’s enjoying it.”

Besides holiday cheer, the Pacific players heard cheers from the more than 2,000 fans.

“I was thinking that maybe we’d get some boos, but it was very warm,” McGee said.

Among the cheers for them were from a group of about 40 players, coaches, officials and supporters of the Babes in Toyland, a developing roller derby organization in North Pole.

Melissa Sonnek, Babes in Toyland president and a player known as Camo Cane, said it was first bout the orgranization has watched.

The Fairbanks Rollergirls, who are vying to become a full-fledged member of the national Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, next play at the Carlson Center at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in a doubleheader against their Anchorage counterparts and Rat City of Seattle.

Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.

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