Like Pendleton Heights, the Indians are looking to use this weekend's event as a stepping stone for future success. If channeled correctly, the challenge of facing some of the state's elite competitors can accelerate the learning curve for young athletes.
And there will be plenty of opportunity for acceleration at Fishers.
The Arabians' top individual is senior diver Taylor Fiew, a state finalist in 2013 who is hoping for a top-four finish Saturday and a berth in next week's diving regional.
Junior Micalah Booher is seeded eighth in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 100-yard freestyle. She is the school-record holder in the 500-yard freestyle but switched to shorter events this season for the good of the team.
Junior Madison Kordes is seeded eighth in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breststroke. Freshman Madison Brand is seventh in the 500-yard freestyle, and the Arabians' 400-yard freestyle relay team is seeded third.
It can be tough to reach the individual finals in a sectional in which Hamilton Southeastern and Fishers routinely claim five to six spots in each event.
"Everybody else is battling for those last two or three spots," Renz said.
Other local athletes who are favored to compete for at least a spot in Saturday's consolation finals include: Pendleton Heights junior Tori Grinstead (200 free, 500 free), Pendleton Heights junior Breanna Oaldon (100 free, 200 free), Pendleton Heights freshman Cassidy Benbow (200 IM, 100 butterfly), Anderson junior Bayli Proctor (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), Pendleton Heights junior Katey Stout (50 free, 100 free), Anderson senior Ashley Lashbrook (50 free), Pendleton Heights sophomore Megan Simmons (50 free, 100 breaststroke), Pendleton Heights senior Mason Mills (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke), Pendleton Heights junior Rebekah Monnier (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke), Elwood freshman Karsyn Powell (100 butterfly), Pendleton Heights freshman Kristen Amrine (500 free), Anderson freshman Clairece Thompson (500 free), Anderson junior Chloe Contos (100 backstroke) and Elwood junior Celeste Phelps (100 breaststroke).
Anderson freshman Aspen Bond (100 free, 100 backstroke) also was favored to advance but likely won't be able to compete because of a severe earache.
The sectional champion in each event advances to next week's state finals along with any swimmer who meets the state standard during the finals or consolation finals. Additional swimmers will be added to the state field based on sectional times until each event reaches its 32-girl limit.