Pepperdine Brings in Ellie Wanninger, Olivia Kayye, and Haley Bergthold

Pepperdine University’s new head coach Joe Spahn will welcome a trio of swimmers to his Malibu campus in the fall; all three were recruited by his predecessor, Nick Rodionoff. Ellie Wanninger, Olivia Kayye, and Haley Bergthold committed to The Waves earlier in the spring.

Ellie Wanninger (Edina, MN)

“I really love everything about the Pepperdine. I know I will be challenged in class and in the pool. I already feel at home with my sister on the team, so many great friends and a coaching staff that will push me as a student-athlete.”

Wanninger, who swims for Aquajets Swim Team and represented Breck High School in her prep career, specializes in backstroke and freestyle. She made great strides during her high school years, going from a 1:06 in the 100 back as a freshman to a 59-low as a senior. She took nearly 3 seconds off her 50 free and lowered her 100 free by 4.

Top SCY times:

  • 50 back – 27.85
  • 100 back – 59.72
  • 200 back – 2:10.99
  • 50 free – 25.97
  • 100 free – 56.82

Olivia Kayye (Chapel Hill, NC)

“I chose to swim for Pepperdine because all of the swimmers were so welcoming to me, and the coaches are fantastic when working with their swimmers to achieve their goals, while still helping them maintain great academic standing. I believe the school is a perfect fit for me with academics, spirituality and athletics. I am so excited to ‘Become a WAVE’!”

Kayye is wrapping up her senior year at East Chapel Hill High School where she specialized in free and breast. At the NCHSAA 3A State Championships, she placed 6th in the 500 free and 16th in the 100 breast, and contributed to East Chapel Hill’s 3rd-place medley relay and 4th-place 400 free relay. Kayye swims year-round with Carolina Aquatic Team. Since the start of her senior year, she has dropped time in the 50/100/200/500/1000/1650 free, 100/200 breast, 100/200 fly, and 400 IM.

Top SCY times:

  • 100 free – 53.63
  • 200 free – 1:56.40
  • 500 free – 5:09.09
  • 1000 free – 10:42.01
  • 1650 free – 17:53.87
  • 100 breast – 1:08.10

Haley Bergthold (Fairfax, VA)

“I committed to Pepperdine because all the elements of the swim team were exactly what I wanted as a swimmer, they have an outstanding Biology program, and the beautiful campus didn’t hurt!”

Woodson High School senior Bergthold is a fly/back specialist who, at the 2018 VHSL Class 6 State Meet, finished 13th in the former and 15th in the latter. Swimming for her club team Machine Aquatics, she placed 5th in the 100 back at Potomac Valley LSC Short Course Senior Championships. She was also a finalist in the 50 free, 200 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly, and she snagged best times in the 100 back and 100 breast.

SCY times:

  • 100 back – 58.66
  • 200 back – 2:09.02
  • 100 fly – 57.97
  • 100 breast – 1:08.31
  • 200 IM – 2:11.61

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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