By Brandon Penny | April 17, 2016, 3:55 p.m. (ET)
(L-R) Charlie Cole, Matt Miller, Henrik Rummel and Seth Weil celebrate winning the men's four final at World Rowing Cup 1 on April 17, 2016 in Varese, Italy.


Two U.S. men’s rowing crews started their Olympic season by winning medals at the World Rowing Cup 1 Saturday morning in Varese, Italy.

The men’s four of Charlie Cole, Matt Miller, Henrik Rummel and Seth Weil struck gold in a time of 6:09.88. In their first time competing together, the U.S. crew beat out reigning world champion Italy, which was comprised of the same four men who won the world title in September. Italy took silver in 6:10.16, while a crew from the Netherlands earned bronze in 6:10.89.

“We've only been together a very short time, so we felt like we were getting better every day over here,” Henrik Rummel said, according to USRowing. “This is a good place to start, but we have a lot of work to do and room for improvement. It was a good stepping stone for what we want to accomplish this summer.”

Rummel and Cole were part of the bronze-medal-winning men’s four crew at the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Weil, Rummel and Cole were all part of the 2015 world championships crew that finished seventh and qualified the boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Less than an hour later, the U.S. lightweight men’s four took to Lake Varese and earned bronze in its final, finishing in 6:22.99. Current world champion Switzerland won in a time of 6:16.91, while China took silver in 6:22.33.

Also competing together for the first time, Robin Prendes, Anthony Fahden, Edward “Mix” King and Tyler Nase made history for Team USA, earning the country’s first medal in the lightweight men’s four since 2003.

Prendes and King won the non-Olympic lightweight men’s pair final at last month’s National Selection Regatta 1, where Fahden and Nase finished second. Prendes and Fahden competed together at the 2012 Olympics, finishing eighth in the lightweight men’s four.