From Tears To Triumph: This Is Sarah's Road To Becoming A 'Challenge' Champion

Victory sure tasted sweet for the 'Battle of the Exes 2' winner!

Aaliyah memorably crooned, "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again," and those notable lyrics could not ring any more true for "Challenge" competitor Sarah.

The "Real World: Brooklyn" alum first accepted a bid on "The Ruins" back in 2009, and after her eighth attempt, the always-resilient vet took home the grand prize -- $125,000! -- on the "Battle of the Exes 2" season finale.

"I feel so lucky to have been a part of so many amazing adventures," an emotional S, who successfully scaled Norway's unbelievable Mount Slogan with former flame Jordan, admitted in an interview (above) after defeating Leroy and Theresa. "This has been a roller coaster. I have seen the ugliest sides of people -- and the most beautiful sides of people."

Let's face it: The happy-go-lucky gal hasn't had an easy road to nabbing the No. 1 spot on the scoreboard. From multiple upsetting partnerships to nearly securing the big check on several occasions, the crossword enthusiast has certainly endured it all during this unforgettable, years-long ride. In honor of the newly crowned champion's well-deserved win and Throwback Thursday, we're taking a look back at Sarah's incredible journey toward this happily ever after:

  • "The Ruins"

    The rookie and her "Challenger" partner KellyAnne were extremely close to nabbing first place over the "Champions" -- they handled all of those critters like bosses -- but the ladies lost their lead and ultimately had to settle for silver medals.

  • "Fresh Meat 2"

    S and her hookup buddy/partner Vinny were forced to face off against allies Kenny and Laurel during the second Exile -- and they were ousted from the game after schlepping a bunch of weights through the Whistler woods.

  • "Cutthroat"

    The San Fran native made her second finals appearance with the Grey Team, comprised of Laurel, Cara Maria, Abram and Luke. But when she started vomiting seemingly out of nowhere on the Prague course -- after A suffered heat exhaustion and was yanked beforehand -- a weeping Sarah was pulled from the contest and didn't cross the finish line.

  • "Rivals"

    The last-place Big Apple roomies were forced to compete in the fifth Jungle against newbies Jonna and Jasmine. Even though the mission was Sarah's strong suit (a puzzle) -- and the rest of the Argentina gang was rooting for Satelynn -- the girls were dealt a surprising upset at the hands of J-squared.

  • "Battle of the Exes"

    The erstwhile "Fresh Meat 2" crushes secured their first win during the second episode -- but Varah was promptly booted after Vin removed Mandi's top during a night out at a club in the Dominican Republic. Understandably, Sar was devastated about V's actions, and there was no denying it cost her tremendously.

  • "Battle of the Seasons"

    The one-time New Yorkers -- Chet, Devyn, JD and S -- fought their way to the finals and climbed the Namibian sand dunes behind Team San Diego (Zach, Frank, Sam and Ashley) and Team Las Vegas (Trishelle and Dustin). The underdogs split the $40,000 prize and exchanged some sweet hugs after taking third place.

  • "Rivals 2"

    The blond's unfortunate luck with partners continued in Thailand: Trishelle (Sarah's teammate) had enough of the environment after a fiery argument with Aneesa, and the "Vegas" poker player threw her bags down the stairs and cut short Sashelle's stint in paradise -- without a care in the world for Sarah.

+ What's your favorite Sarah "Challenge" incident? Share your thoughts below, be sure to offer your congrats to Team Sordan on their monumental "Battle of the Exes 2" achievement, and watch this bonus clip featuring J & S receiving some special headgear: