Caymanian sprinter Jaden Francis will be taking her athletic career to the next level when she begins her freshman year at the University of South Florida in August.
“I’m very excited to be signed to USF, a NCAA [Division I] university,” Francis told the Cayman Compass. “I am grateful to be able to continue competing in college and be given more opportunities to improve and develop my athletic career, as well as meeting new teammates and competing with them.”
Francis, 17, recently graduated from the IMG Academy in Florida, where she competed eight times this year, making the podium at every event. Her primary focus is on the 200m and 400m distances.
She said the process of picking the right university was difficult and based around her athletic aspirations.
“It was very stressful because I wanted to make sure I made the right decision,” she said. “I started by figuring out what was most important to me in terms of a track programme, as well as academic. Luckily, I have a very supportive family that in every way possible helped making a decision easier.”
Francis said she was also assisted by her IMG coach, as well as her prospective USF coaches who informed her about the school’s programmes during her search.