Liberty Flames Ignite 2022 Recruiting with Verbal from Junior National Bronze Medallist Malia Francis 

malia francis liberty
Photo Courtesy: Malia Francis

NEW COMMIT: Rhinelander, Wisc. native and Junior National qualifier Malia Francis has announced her college decision and will attend Liberty University in the fall of 2022.

She is the first public verbal commitment for the Lady Flames’ Class of 2026 and is a huge pickup for the program. Her older sister, Kiah Francis, is currently a senior breaststroker/IMer for Liberty.

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“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!!”

Primarily a backstroker, Francis owns the Junior National cut in both the 100 and 200 back and does her club swimming with the Mid Wisconsin Wave Makers. She placed 13th in the 200m back and 19th in the 100m back at the TYR Pro Swim Series – Des Moines in March and had a pair of top-20 finishes at NCSAs last summer.

At Juniors West in December, she had a breakout meet where she finished third in the 200 back and ninth in the 100 back, recording best times in both events.

Her best times include:

  • 100 back – 54.01
  • 200 back – 1:56.07
  • 100 fly – 56.13
  • 200 IM – 2:05.28
  • 400 IM – 4:29.76

Currently a junior at Rhinelander High School, Francis won both the 100 fly and 100 back at the Wisconsin DII State Championships during her sophomore season. She has also earned USA Swimming Scholastic All-American honors for her efforts in both the pool and in the classroom.

Even with just under two years to go before arriving on campus at the start of the 2022-23 season, Francis will make a big impact for the Lady Flames. Her best time in the 100 back would’ve scored the bronze medal at last year’s conference meet while she would’ve been the runner-up in the 200 back.

Under head coach Jake Shellenberger, Liberty clinched their third conference title in program history at the 2020 CCSA Championships.

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