- "I'm a police sergeant with the Rockford Police Department. When I shoot I get almost tingly inside."
- ―Sara Ahrens[src]
- "I would be lying to you if I didn't say I want to be my kids' hero. Winning on Top Shot could get me there."
- ―Sara Ahrens[src]
Sara is a Police Training Sergeant from Roscoe, Illinois. She became the first woman in her police department to try for the SWAT team, and became supervisor. In addition to this, Sara has also shot with the United States Army and the police department in Rockford, Illinois. She has a husband, Mike Ahrens, and two children.
Sara arrived for Top Shot along with the other fifteen contestants. Here, Colby Donaldson, the host of the competition, declared a Preliminary Challenge would determine the team placement of each individual. In pairs, the contestants would shoot head-to-head using the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum at three targets. Whichever of the two could hit the three targets before the other would be victorious and become a member of the Blue Team, while the loser would become members of the Red Team.
Sara and the only other female contestant, Amanda Hardin, went face-to-face after three pairs had already competed. Amanda hit the first target before Sara, but after three shots, the latter was able to destroy her first target. Sara managed to hit her second target before Amanda, though being previously behind. This shot used the last round in Sara's weapon, forcing her to reload. Shortly after, Amanda also needed to reload, giving Sara enough time to destroy her final target, resulting in her victory and a spot on the Blue Team. After all of the contestants had finished with the challenge, Colby allowed them to head to the house they would be living in during their stay in the competition. However, Red Team arrived at the house first, claiming the bottom bunks of the beds, giving the members of Blue Team a very limited decision on where they would sleep.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to participate in the first Team Challenge. Instantly, many noticed many platforms set up and targets in the distance. After all of the contestants got situated, Colby explained that for the challenge, two contestants at a time would climb up onto the four platforms for their team and use the Larue Tactical OBR to destroy a target each. Then Colby stated that they would not be using the ladders built onto the platforms to get onto them, but a sixteen foot pole, which would have to be carried to each platform, had to be climbed. Before participating in the challenge, the teams had to decide on the shooting order, choosing Sara and Jarrett Grimes for the third platform. Sara made it up the pole of her station before Jarrett. Once her fellow teammate got up the pole, she began shooting the OBR. On Sara's fifth shot, she was able to explode her target, passing the weapon to Jarrett. He too, had to use five rounds to finally hit his target, giving the Red Team a slight lead. However, this lead was broken when the last members of Blue Team, Mike Hughes and Alex Charvat, got up their poles and began firing. Mike quickly hit his target and gave the OBR to Alex. After a few rounds, Alex hit the final target, resulting in Blue Team's victory.
When the contestants returned to the house, the Red Team held a meeting while the Blue Team went to the kitchen, where Dustin Ellermann read motivating verses from the bible. He then concluded by saying that as he read this, he thought, "sucks to be Red", which was humorous to many Blue Team members.