Charging from fourth to second place, the U.S. women's quad won a silver medal on Thursday to give the United States its first medal at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.
The crew finished with a time of 6:19.90, just 1.53 seconds behind first-place finisher Germany.
"I just couldn't even believe it," Adrienne Martelli said, according to a release by US Rowing. "I was just so, so happy and so proud of everybody. It was a great race and I can't even believe it. I'm so excited I'm pretty speechless, really.
"We had a really aggressive start and I think at one point, Stesha [Carle] called that we were in two seat [of the German boat]. Everyone could just feel the boat pick up right from there. We knew we were right in it and just had to keep pushing. It was hard fought and we finished pretty close to the Germans. So that's something to look forward to next year."
Earlier in the day, the U.S. men's eight crew was disappointed with a second place finish in the B final, which prevented them from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. Their only other chance to qualify is the second-chance qualifying regatta in May.
"No excuses," Nareg Guregian said. "We lost. I feel like we let down our country."
Falling behind from the start, the men rowed from fifth place into second but never challenged Ukraine for the win.
"It's disappointing," Henrik Rummel said. "We don't know what happened. We were fast at Lucerne and we lost speed in the last week. I don't know where it went. I don't know what's wrong, but we lost speed."
The women's pair crew of Kady Glessner and Caryn Davies secured a spot in London with second place finish in the B final, which earned them the final qualifying spot.