our coaches

The Meraquas of Irvine is proud to have a strong team of dedicated and highly credentialed coaches with extensive experience in coaching and judging.


Candy Hipp

Head Coach Candace "Candy" Hipp has coached the Junior, 16-19, 13-15, and 12&Under Age Groups to the national Junior Olympic level. She herself is a 1982 United States Junior Team Champion, a Senior National Finalist, and a Masters Champion, age 35-39, in duet, trio and team.  Candy's dedication to the team and her coaching approach can be seen in the video clip on the classes page.

Contact Coach Candy: candyhipp14@gmail.com

Brittany Varkel

Coach Brittany swam for 11 years: first with the Coralettes of Southern Cal then with the Meraquas. She was a Finalist at Age Group Nationals in Solo, Duet, and Team several times and has placed 3rd place at West Zones. She has been in the Top 7 for US Juniors in the team category and has been a Team Finalist at the US Junior Open.

Nessa P

Nessa Parkinen

Nessa swam for Meraquas: 1998-2007 and was a part of 2004-2007 Junior National Team Finalist, 2000-2007 Age Group National Team Finalist, and 2007 Age Group National Trio Finalist. She also swam at University of Arizona SplashCats Synchronized Swimming: 2007-2011 and was a 2008 Collegiate National Club Champions, 2008-2011 Collegiate National Team Finalist, 2011 Collegiate National Duet Finalist, and 2011 Collegiate National Figures 5th Place Finisher.

As a Doctor of Chiropractor and wellness advocate, Nessa is dedicated to help her community move well and feel well. She is excited to combine her knowledge of biomechanics, strength and conditioning, and nutrition with her competitive artistic swimming background to help the Meraquas excel in every way.

Barb Nesbitt

Vector Drop Irvine

Coach Jessica

Hailey Hipp

Hailey Hipp has a great time working with the class members, breaking down artistic swimming to the basics that beginner swimmers can understand and embrace.  She is a former team member of both the Southern California Coralettes and the Meraquas of Irvine and previously competed at the National Age Group Level.

Vector Drop Irvine
Vector Drop Irvine

Coach Karen