Scott Gault, Charles Cole, Henrik Rummel and Glenn Ochal of the United States compete in the Men's Four heats on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on July 30, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Eton Dorney, England (written by Lauren Gustus/USA Today) -- Henrik Rummel's four-man boat has only been together for five months.
On Thursday, his U.S. team found itself on the verge of a rowing medal at the London Olympics.
The 24-year-old from Pittsford, N.Y., and his teammates finished first in their semifinal, covering the 2,000-meter distance in 6 minutes, 1.72 seconds.
It was the third-fastest qualifying time of the six teams in the final.
"We got the result we needed but I didn't think it was the best rowing in the conditions," he said. "It was a very strong crosswind. It made it very difficult to keep our composure. But we were able to row through some good competition and get the win."
The U.S. team will go for an Olympic medal in the final on Saturday. Great Britain, which qualified first in 5:58.26, is the three-time defending champion.
This is the first Olympics for Rummel, who rowed at Harvard and who is in the second seat for his four-man crew.
A year ago, he was in a different boat.
But Rummel re-evaluated his position after a disappointing, eighth-place finish in the eight-man at the 2011 world championships.
He's now rowing alongside Glenn Ochal, Charles Cole and Scott Gault, who is the only member of the men's four that's been to an Olympics, Beijing in 2008.
They've stayed mostly close to home, trading live-race experience for extra training time that would have been eaten up by travel to and from international races.
"We got together in April and we've been training together as a four since," Rummel said. "We've done a good job gelling and keeping focused."
Through qualifying here in London, the U.S. team has bested strong teams from Greece and Germany. They've yet to see Great Britain.
"We know what we're doing and we've had confidence since we got in the lineup and we saw the numbers that we're hitting at home," Rummel said. "We were expecting a medal coming into the competition and that's definitely been bolstered now."