Coaches and Directors

ACE Coaching Staff
Kim Berndt ACE Head Coach / Elite / Gold

You walk into a pool and it becomes home - the chlorine smell to the splashing on the pool deck, to the loud deafening sounds of parents and coaches all yelling to swim faster. This environment is a place that most swimmers learn to love. Coach Kim Berndt has made her love of this atmosphere a lifelong career.

Kim started her swimming career in upstate New York. She quickly learned that competitive swimming takes commitment and training.  In addition to her technique and endurance training in the pool, she learned the importance of the mental game needed to achieve one’s goals.  Swimming at the collegiate level, Coach Kim competed at the Division 1 NCAA Swimming Championships. She still holds several school’s records at the University of Miami. Additionally, she has swam all over the world as part of the USA National team competing, placing at many different International meets.

Following her competitive career and graduating from the University of Miami, she transitioned her passion and love for swimming into coaching. She began her coaching career in Miami, Florida. She has vast experience coaching swimmers of all ages, novice to high school. Coach Kim relates to swimmers, bringing her background and experiences to help the swimmers succeed in achieving their goals.

Kim started with the Aquatic Club of Elkhorn simply as a “swim parent” when two of her three children began swimming with the team in 2015.  Upon request of the former ACE head coach, Jay Thiltgen, she joined the ACE coaching staff in 2016. She has coached nearly every ACE group through the years. She has been integral in helping to developing a strong base for team of athletes  in order to help to guide the ACE swimmers through the beginning progressions of competitive age group swimming all the way through the elite levels of competition.

In addition to building a strong developmental base for our swimmers, Coach Kim helps each athlete learn how to work through the struggles and roadblocks that come from competing at a high level no matter the event.  From the pool deck to the real world, Coach Kim believes that there are lots of life skills that come from competitive swimming for kids of all ages.

In March 2020, Kim was asked to take over the team as the interim ACE head coach upon the announcement that the former ACE Head coach awas stepping away from swimming. Coach Kim successfully guided the club and swimmers through the challenging aspects of the pandemic. In the Fall of 2020, the ACE Board of Directors offered Coach Kim the position of the ACE Head Coach. In addition to her responsibilities as the ACE head coach, Coach Kim is also the coaching director for the Elite and Gold groups.

Kim and her husband, live in the Bennington area and have three children.

 

 

Elijah Clements Coaching Director - Silver Group

Coach Elijah has swam competitively the last 11 years, 8 of those were in Oregon. He swam club for Albany Aquatics, then Hillsboro HEAT, and last with Newberg Aquatic Club. In that time he had obtained several top 5 finishes in the state, with 2 state records in the open 200 yd free relay and 17-18 400 m medley relay. 

After high school he swam for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, during his Freshman and Sophomore year swimming sprint fly and free. He then transferred to University Nebraska of Omaha in 2021, joining the UNO men’s swim program's inaugural year for his junior year. Elijah began coaching two years ago, currently he coaches the fabulous Explorers Black group. 

Logan Kempf Coaching Director - Bronze Group
Ally Lunzmann Coaching Director - Black Group

Growing up, Ally has always loved the sport of swimming and enjoyed the variety that it offered. Coach Ally began her swimming career at GNST, Greater Nebraska Swim Team, in Lincoln; and continued her swimming for the University of Indianapolis.

 

Going into her Junior year of college Ally’s family moved to the Omaha area and had the opportunity to train with ACE in the summers. Throughout her club years, and college swimming, Coach Ally learned to love both butterfly and freestyle, with an occasional mix of the other strokes.  She mainly gravitated to the 200 fly group, and 100 - 200 freestyle.

 

She just recently graduated from the University of Indianapolis in May of 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She is a a fifth grade teacher at Blue Sage Elementary School, in the Elkhorn school district.

 

Excited to share her passion for this sport, she is looking forward to continuing it through coaching and a great season of swimming. Go Otters!

 

 

James Grundke Coaching Director - Green Group
Maddie Rosonke Coaching Director - White Group

Coach Maddie is from Scottbluff, NE.  She started swimming when she was in the third grade. Even when she was little she loved the water, and swimming breaststroke.  Maddie attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha to study art education. She swam competitively for the Mavericks throughout her collegiate years and holds the UNO women's record in the 200 breaststroke. While in college, Maddie coached with ACE for a couple of years. Currently, Maddie teaches art at Elkhorn High. She continues to swim, training with the Elkhorn Master's group and racing in area USA Masters swim meets. 

Kari Mettenbrink-Rushlau Coaching Director - Novice Group

Swimming has been a part of Coach Kari's life since she was 8 years old in one way or another. Growing up in Grand Island, NE, she swam competitively with the QuickSilver club and swam for Grand Island Senior High. Upon graduating from Grand Island, Kari went to UNO and swam for the Mavericks under Coach Todd Samland. Coach Jenna and Coach Kari were teammates for three of those years at UNO.

Kari loves coaching all ages, but her favorite thing to coach is stroke development and thus is typically drawn to the younger developmental groups. Often you will hear Coach Kari say that we need to slow it down before we can speed it up. 

Outside of ACE, Kari is a school counselor at Morton Middle School in Omaha Public Schools and is involved with the summer swim team program at Keystone pool. 

 

Luke Asbury Assistant Coach - Bronze / Silver
Allyse Bell Assistant Coach
Bob Henchal Assistant Coach

Coach Bob earned his B.S. in Physical Education and Philosophy from Creighton University, and has an M.A. in Physical Education from the University of Oregon.

 

He gained five years of YMCA (Tacoma, Las Vegas) aquatic program experience, then a couple of years of volunteer coaching experience during his days with IBM in the Twin Cities, MN.

 

In 2001 he moved to Omaha, got married to Mary, and began 20 years coaching with Swim Omaha, working with almost all age groups and skill levels along the way. Concurrently, he coached fifteen years of Summer League (GOSL) at Oak Hill Pool in Ralston, and high school swimming at Ralston/Gross and Duchesne Academy. He is the current head coach at Duchesne, and the volunteer secretary of the GOSL.

 

 

Maya Moran Assistant Coach
Paul Pechous Assistant Coach
Coach Paul swam competitively with ACE for over 8 years specializing in butterfly and freestyle. As a  team member of the Elkhorn Stormin' Antlers High School swim team, Paul was part of the Elkhorn Stormin' Antlers State Championships all four years and served as team captain both his junior and senior years of high school.   Paul has several years of coaching and private swim instruction experience.  
 
Currently Paul is a junior at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, majoring in Education.  He continues to swim  competively with the UNL Collegiate Club swim team in addtion to being active in the UNL Student Government when not in classes or on the pool deck coaching.
 
Olivia Calese Junior Coach
Leslie Mayo ACE Club Manager

Leslie has been actively involved with ACE since 2010. Initially as a swim parent, she served on the ACE Board of Directors. In the Fall 2014, Leslie joined the Aquatic Club of Elkhorn staff as the club administrator overseeing all aspects of the “dry side” administrative duties of the team such as billing, team registration, general communications, ACE website and managing the behind the scenes details of our hosted swim meets so the coaching staff can focus on coaching our swimmers.

 

Leslie and her husband, Scott, live in the West Omaha area and have two children.

ACE Parent Board of Directors
John Elder Board President (2024)
Kim Berndt ACE Head Coach (non-voting member)
Tricia Hultgren Vice President - SafeSport Chair (2023)
Christian Kloster Treasurer (2023)
Laura Thoreen Secretary (2022)
Steve Henderson Member at Large (2024)
Kristine Sanger Member at Large (2024)
Nicole Skudlarek Member at Large (2022)
Emily Williams Member at Large (2023)
Leslie Mayo Club Manager (non-voting member)