It's April! While the basketball seasons are over, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for Oregon Athletics this spring and a number of exciting storylines worth following. We've listed out eight of our favorites for your enjoyment.
Oregon Duck Spring Storylines
Oregon Softball Chasing a National Title: The Ducks are ranked top five in the land and have both the offensive firepower and standout pitching to make a serious run at a national title.
Starting pitcher Megan Kleist is as good as they come and the addition of DJ Sanders, a slugger to say the least, has been a big win for Coach Mike White's team. The Pac-12 is loaded with top-tier teams, which should only help the Ducks heading into the post-season.
Norman Xiong Stepping It Up for Oregon Men's Golf: The Oregon Men's Golf team is looking for continued improvement throughout the season, and while the squad may not win many of their big invitational matches this season, fans need to keep an eye on sophomore sensation Norman Xiong.
Xiong has already won four tournaments this season and has taken his game to a whole new level in 2018. While an individual national title may seem like a reach, if Xiong continues to progress, nearly anything seems possible.
Oregon Women's Track and Field Seeks Redemption: After winning seven of the previous eight indoor national titles, the Women of Oregon fell to fifth at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships last month.
Despite the lackluster finish, the squad enters the outdoor season with as good as shot as any team to claim the national crown. Much of their success depends on the health of standout sprinter Ariana Washington and distance runner Katie Rainsberger.
Oregon Baseball's Star Kenyon Yovan Steps Into Starting Role: While Oregon Baseball finds their footing in the early going, showing signs of incredible potential at times, pre-season All-American Kenyon Yovan is an individual player worth watching. His pre-season accolades focused on his role as closer, but Yovan has been shifted to a starting role. How he handles pitching longer innings and being a focal point of the starting rotation will be a storyline worth following as the season progresses.
Get a Look at Oregon Football on April 21 at the Spring Game: We're a long way from the start of the 2018-19 Oregon Football season, but spring practices are well underway and Coach Mario Cristobal and his staff are pushing their team hard. With talent like Justin Herbert, Troy Dye, Jalen Jelks and Tony Brooks-James ready to showcase their skills, along with countless other players ready to show what they can do, the Spring Game is going to be a fun one this year.
Oregon Men's Tennis' Thomas Laurent is Incredible: Whether or not you're a tennis fan, Oregon's Thomas Laurent is worth watching at some point this spring. The French national is ranked as a top-15 individual player at the NCAA level, while he and his doubles partner Cormac Clissold are the winning duo in Oregon history.
The first-team All Pac-12 junior is only getting stronger as the season continues and it would not be surprising at all to see Laurent challenge for a top five finish at the NCAA Championships later this semester.
Oregon Men's Track and Field with National Title Aspirations: A 13th place showing at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships mean it's fairly far fetched for the Men of Oregon to claim an outdoor crown, but it'd also not be smart for the nation to count out the Ducks.
The team's middle distance crew is impressive, while a handful of sprinters could take Oregon to another level. Robert Johnson's squad always seems to peak perfectly at NCAA Outdoors. Their true success at the national level should be shown by the Pac-12 Championships.
The Recruiting Trail Never Slows for Oregon Football and Oregon Men's Basketball: Just when you think the recruiting season slows down, fans are reminded that the recruiting cycle never stops, as Oregon Football recently received a commitment from a four-star defensive tackle from California.
Coach Mario Cristobal is set to host a ton of talent at the Spring Game later this month, which could see a few athletes commit on the spot, while Coach Dana Altman and his staff are working 3-4 different top recruits and grad transfers, seeking to fill out their 2018-19 roster. Recruiting news is never in short supply.
There are plenty of other storylines to follow this spring, but these are a few of our favorites as April and the spring sports season start heating up.