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Sports Spotlight: Rhinelander's Malia Francis takes after siblings
RHINELANDER - Above Rhinelander's pool hangs a record board with the name Francis plastered all over it.

"I mean, I want my name up there too," Malia Francis said.

Francis sees it every day and hopes to join her siblings.

"I think it helps to have my older siblings swim because I've been around them for so long and I've seen them going through everything," Francis said.

Malia is the younger sister of Kiah and Nolan Francis, who delivered some of the best swims in Hodag history before going on to compete at division one colleges.

"The Francis family is used to having to train on their own, so they are very dedicated and I see Malia having that same dedication to swim," swim coach Jenny Heck said. "She knows what it takes to be good."

Malia could have joined the team last season, but chose to compete with her club team for a year before switching to the Hodags.

"This year, it just kind of felt right," Malia said. "The team looked really great. I think it's a good idea. It will help me prepare for college swimming."

The older swimmers are glad she made the switch.

"We were already excited last year about some rumors that she was going to join, so this year we're super excited," teammate Makenna Winnicki said.

Malia is excited to do what her state champion siblings did.

"I just try to lead by example and work really hard," Malia said.

Francis was the only swimmer to win four events in Rhinelander's weekend victory over Colby/Abbotsford.

She'll be a key part of the lineup as Rhinelander tries to take the GNC title from Tomahawk.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein


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