Audrey Gilmore and Jennifer Gammon played multiple sports in high school, and several years after their high school careers concluded, they still had still an itch for athletics.

The Lewiston residents scratched it by colliding with other bodies while roller skating — they started playing roller derby for the Androscoggin Fallen Angels, who play their first-ever match Saturday at the Lewiston Armory.

“I really just wanted to get back into a sport, where I felt like I had a team and I was physically stronger,” Gammon, 40, who played softball, basketball and soccer and ran cross country at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, said.

“I felt like there was kind of a gap in my life between having sports as a teenager and having sports as an adult.”

Gilmore, 34, participated in swimming, cross country and track while growing up in Falmouth. Her sister was one of the founding members of the Fallen Angels.

“(I was) trying to find a team to get into again,” Gilmore said. “That was one of the main reasons when my sister asked me to join, I was like, that would be fun to be part of something again. I had been looking for a swim team or something, but I couldn’t really find anything.”


Name game

Quick tangent: In the roller derby world, they are not known as Jennifer Gammon and Audrey Gilmore; they are Seitanic Beast (or Beast) and Audzilla (or Zilla).

Picking a name is a major step for derby players. Just like parents spend months selecting a name for their children, skaters put a lot of time into selecting a pseudonym that suits them — something tough that matches either their personality, occupation or interests.

Take Beast and Zilla, for instance.

Seitanic Beast isn’t as demonic as it sounds. Gammon is a vegetarian, and seitan is a product often referred to as “wheat meat” because it often is used as a stand-in for meat in vegetarian meals.

Gilmore says that Audzilla is more than merely a portmanteau of Audrey and Godzilla.


“I like to say that Godzilla is my spirit animal,” Gilmore said.

Picking a name is serious business. It’s what skaters are called by their teammates, it goes on their jersey.

“It’s who you are when you’re playing roller derby,” Gammon said. “It’s like your athletic alter ego or your persona on the track.”

Roller derby players don’t need an athletic background, and even knowing how to rollerskate isn’t required, but personality is a must.

“Roller derby is weird,” Gilmore said.

“We’re a little fruit loops,” Gammon said.


‘Girl gang’

Gilmore and Gammon have gained what they hoped from roller derby, and then some.

“One of our hashtags is that we use in our stuff is that we hang in a girl gang,” Gammon said. “And like, we hang in a girl gang.”

The Fallen Angels were founded in 2015. Gilmore joined November of that year, and Gammon started in June 2016.

Neither previously knew more than one of their teammates when they joined the Fallen Angels. Now, they count those teammates as some of their closest friends.

If they need help on the track or in their personal lives, they know that a fellow Fallen Angel will be willing to help.


“Within minutes, somebody would be like, I’m on my way. Very supportive,” Gilmore said.

“I’ll beat someone up for them. I do it all the time (on the track).”

Bumps, bruises and time

One of the things about roller derby that appealed to Gammon and Gilmore is that it is a full-contact sport.

“I had always been intrigued by the idea of roller derby because of the kind of culture that it has where it really pushes women doing these really strong, cool things on roller skates,” Gammon said.

“I really do like hitting people. That makes me sound evil. But I like getting hit, too,” Gilmore said.


“It’s a great way to exercise,” Gilmore adds. “It’s fun and it’s a full-contact sport on roller skates, so you get to, like, use your ass as a weapon and hit people with it and stuff. It’s really fun.”

Saturday will be the Fallen Angels’ first official match — they recently scrimmaged a team in Caribou — but the team’s skaters have been advancing their skills and understanding of the game for the past several months.

Along the way, there has been hard falls and bruises — “Like here, here, here, here,” Gammon said, pointing to purple areas of skin — and even a few broken bones. But they keep coming back, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday night, all year long.

“That might actually be the hardest part for me is the time commitment,” Gilmore said. “I like to go hiking and stuff, and I’ve sacrificed a lot of other things that I like to do. A lot of my friends live in Portland, and they’re like, ‘Let’s go out Friday,’ and I’m like, ‘I can’t, I have derby.’

“So, I’ve given up on a lot of other things I like to commit my time to derby, so that’s been a little hard. But it’s been worth it.”

One might think that the grueling night practices might sap the energy out of the Fallen Angels, but just the opposite is true. Sometimes, the party’s just getting started.


“I’m usually pretty wired, actually. I’m up for a couple hours after,” Gilmore said.

“And then sometimes, like Friday nights, we usually go out as a team, and we’ll end up dancing until we shut the place down.”

They’ve also found that the community extends beyond the Fallen Angels.

Gammon went on a vacation to Iceland. It was during the Fallen Angels’ skate-training program, and she didn’t want to fall behind. She looked for a place to go roller skating, but couldn’t find one. So she contacted the roller derby team in Reykjavik.

“And they’re like, ‘Just come to our practice,’” Gammon said. “And they were excited. They were like, ‘It’s so awesome to meet you,’ and they took me right in and made me feel like I was just part of their team for the two practices I was there.

“There’s that camaraderie, that you know that person plays roller derby, and there’s something about that that makes it really — like, we understand how fruit loops you are.”

Jennifer “Beast” Gammon and Audrey “Zilla” Gilmore skate for the Androscoggin Fallen Angels Roller Derby League and are competing in their first open bout on Saturday at the Lewiston Armory.

Jennifer “Beast” Gammon and Audrey “Zilla” Gilmore skate for the Androscoggin Fallen Angels Roller Derby League and are competing in their first open bout on Saturday at the Lewiston Armory.

Androscoggin Fallen Angels, Jennifer “Beast” Gammon, on left, Rae “Razinkane” Kane and Audrey “Zilla” Gilmore scramble to block the Aroostook Roller Derby jammer, in purple wearing the star on her helmet, from passing at a scrimmage in Caribou last month.

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