I have been paddling for quite some time now, but have only recently found myself totally immersed in the whitewater world. I resisted the sport from a young age until I was about 14. Last year, my dad told me about this place near Lexington, Virginia, called Goshen Pass. There are two different runs on Goshen, both pretty short, the upper and the lower. Goshen is on the Maury River and the upper section hosts class III-IV whitewater. I took one look, said “No thanks.” and proceeded to run laps on the lower section.In March, I heard tales of a race that was going to happen at the Pass, and I was interested in taking pictures. I hiked into the gorge from the side of the road with my camera and tripod and my dad threw our boats on top of the car, just in case we wanted to paddle a little after the race was over (yeah, right). Except that’s exactly what happened.I was peer pressured into running the upper section of Goshen post-race by one of my good friends who said something along the lines of “What can go wrong? You can totally do this, no problem!”. Of course, that meant I swam my first lap, but it also meant I was determined to return for more. Since last March, Goshen has been a key destination for me whenever it has been running, and I was stoked to race it this year.The annual Goshen Pass Race has been going on for the past eight years, beginning in 2007 when a group of local boaters were trash-talking each other about who could paddle the lap the fastest.“It was just a bunch of friends who decided we would get together on a certain day and see who could paddle to Indian Pool the fastest,” said Gordon Dalton, a Pyranha Kayaks team member and organizer of the race this year, “Since then it has grown. We have had between 30-50 racers over the past few years, depending on the level, the weather, and whatever else is going on that day.”I raced for the first time this year, with 30 boaters, including the class of three women. We put in at the swinging bridge, floating down all together to the start point. I heard the countdown from 10 seconds being shouted across the river and then we all took off, paddling down the Pass. All of my nerves vanished as I concentrated on staying on my lines – my goal did not lie in placing highly, but instead I was simply focused on maintaining speed and good lines. The previous day I had been out to Goshen and had completed two practice laps, my second lap had involved lots of banging on rocks through a rapid named Devil’s Kitchen as I flipped three times in the duration of the relatively short, but technical, rock garden. However, during the race I had the smoothest lines through both Devil’s Kitchen and the boof at Corner Rapid I had ever experienced.I finished 21st overall, second in women’s, 1st as a junior woman. Paddling up to the finish line, I was all smiles, happy with my lines and excited for another lap. The rest of the racers and crew cheered as people finished and the sense of community was prominent.“This race is special as a real down-home, grassroots gathering of the Virginia whitewater community,” Dalton said, “There is no racer fee, no snazzy T-shirts, and no ego or drama. Just folks getting together to celebrate Spring and this beautiful place we get to play within.”There are a few sponsors, including Pyranha Kayaks, Appomattox River Company, and Werner Paddles who donate prizes for the racers, and there are homemade trophies for First Place, Second Place, and the Carnage Award. But the coolest part of the race is how low-key the entire thing is. The whole community is really supportive and everyone is cheering on each other, making the day one I was happy to be a part of. I am excited for the rest of this season on Goshen and am already looking forward to next year’s annual race. More information about the race and final times can be found here and the slideshow of photos from Gordon Dalton and Emily Powell are available here.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Someday, if Jo Adell becomes a major league star, the journal might be a sought-after piece of baseball memorabilia.Adell, the 10th player selected in the 2017 draft by the Angels out of Ballard High in Louisville, Ky., is laying waste to the Cal League just as he did to the Arizona Rookie League, the Pioneer League and the Midwest League before this. He did go hitless Tuesday night at Rancho Cucamonga, ending an 11-game hitting streak, but the Inland Empire 66ers’ 19-year-old center fielder was hitting .314 in 37 games in the Cal League going into Wednesday’s games, with 10 homers, 24 RBIs, 11 doubles, 2 triples, a .936 OPS and 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts.He has had 12 multi-hit games in the Cal League, and five three-hit games. And before arriving in San Bernardino, he played 24 games at Burlington (Iowa) of the Midwest League with 6 homers, 29 RBIs, 7 doubles, a .300 average and a .979 OPS. Baseball America currently lists him as the Angels organization’s No. 2 prospect, and the only reason he’s not higher is that the magazine still lists Shohei Ohtani as a prospect.There are, of course, Adell’s strikeouts: 45 in 159 at-bats with Inland Empire, 26 in 90 at-bats in Burlington. We’ll get to those. The journal? It is Adell’s method of keeping track of the pitchers he faces and the way they approach him, and it’s indicative of a cerebral approach to hitting.“One of the best things I’ve done,” he said. “Kind of (keep track of) what pitches I saw, where they were located. And before we face a guy that we’ve seen before, I just go back and revisit that and kind of understand what they’re trying to do.“Most of my outs this year have been me getting myself out. The pitcher is trying to execute a pitch, he’s trying to throw something for a reason. So you need to understand why that is.”It could be a baseball time capsule. Who knows? A decade from now, some of the pitchers he’s facing (and chronicling) now might be successful big leaguers themselves.Adell’s baseline approach is to look for location, especially early in counts. When he first moved up to the Cal League, he said, pitchers were challenging him with fastballs, and when he started jumping on those he noticed he was seeing offspeed pitches early and fastballs later in the count. “But I always loved to hit,” he added. “Every team I played for, it would be, ‘We want him to pitch on Sunday but we’ll let him hit through the week.’”Sound familiar, Angels fans? In this case, Adell enjoyed pitching but loved hitting and was willing to give up one to concentrate on the other. Years from now, if the Ohtani experiment is ultimately deemed a success, young players might not have to make that choice.In the meantime, Adell traded a position that treasures strikeouts for one in which they are worrisome. But while the minor league analysts wonder if those strikeout totals portend difficulty when Adell gets to higher levels, he sees them as the cost of doing business.“I say this before a game: Even if I get fooled on a pitch or I swing at a pitch that’s out of the zone, I’m not going to sacrifice a good swing just to hit the ball,” he said. “I could go into a game and just try to make contact, right? But when I get in the box I’m trying to do damage, and you’re going to get some swings and misses.“I’ve watched big league games this year where guys have gotten down in the count quickly and hit home runs, and it’s because they trusted their swing. … I’m going to put up my best swing every single time. And if things don’t fall my way, if I strike out, then it’s part of the game.”I believe that approach is known as “high risk, high reward.” It has worked for Adell to this point, and it likely will earn him a promotion to Double-A before this season email@example.com@Jim_Alexander on Twitter Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros “For me, the big thing is don’t necessarily assume,” he said. “React.“A lot of times when they say the hitters get fooled, it has to do with the assumption, not the reaction part of the game. That’s what hitting is, reaction. We can sit (on) a pitch, we can think something’s coming, we can have everything the right way – and you get a curveball on a fastball count. You get thrown off, you know? So that’s the big thing: clear-mind it, know what zone I’m looking for, and be a reactionary hitter. And that’s what I’ve done.”There were said to be questions about his ability to hit at the pro level going into the 2017 draft. The foot speed and athletic ability were there in a 6-foot-3, 205-pound package, and he projected as a superior defensive outfielder, whether it be in center (his preferred position) or a corner spot.And consider: He could have been drafted as a pitcher, which might be part of the reason the chess match between hitter and pitcher intrigues him so. He was primarily a pitcher through the end of his junior year at Ballard.“Good fastball, could get up in the mid-90s, upper-90s from time to time, slider,” was Adell’s scouting report on himself.Related Articles