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Malia Francis, a current high school junior from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, has committed to swim for Division I Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Francis is homeschooled and will graduate in spring 2022. She will join the Flames’ class of 2026.
She is the defending Wisconsin High School Division II (small schools) state champion in both the 100 fly (56.23) and 100 back (54.72), winning last fall as a sophomore. Francis didn’t swim high school as a freshman, and so that meet her sophomore year was her state championship debut.
Francis currently swims for Mid Wisconsin Wave Makers where she is a Sectional, Futures and Junior National qualifier. At the 2018 Speedo Champions Series—Pleasant Prairie, Francis won the 200 LCM backstroke (2:17.50) and placed 3rd in the 100 LCM backstroke (1:05.25). She is also a U.S. Open qualifier in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
Additionally, the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American placed 3rd in the 200 backstroke (1:56.07) at the 2019 Speedo Winter Jr. Championships West. That 200 back is her best event.
Francis’s older sister Kiah is a senior at Liberty University where she is the current team captain for the Flames’ swim program. She will graduate from LU in spring 2021.
“I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to further my academic and swimming career at Liberty University!! I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches, and friends for their unwavering support through this process. Can’t wait to be part of this incredible team! GO FLAMES!!🔥🔥”
Top SCY Times
- 100 freestyle – 52.99
- 100 backstroke – 54.01
- 200 backstroke – 1:56.07
- 100 breaststroke – 1:06.09
- 100 butterfly – 56.13
- 200 IM – 2:05.28
- 400 IM – 4:29.76
At the 2020 CCSA Championships with the Flames, Francis would have been a major contributor to the team by making A-finals in multiple events. Most notably, she would have placed 2nd in the 200 backstroke (1:56.07) behind then-junior Payton Keiner (1:52.63), 3rd in the 100 backstroke (54.01) and 8th in the 100 butterfly (56.13) with her current best times as a high school junior.
At the CCSA Championships this year, Liberty claimed the conference title for the second year in a row. Under Coaches Jake Shellenberger and Jessica Barnes, the team was given CSCAA Scholar-All American status. Additionally, four swimmers were given CSCAA Individual Scholar All-American awards.
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