Shawna Sims, 18, and Devin Norder, 17, placed fifth in the lightweight women’s double sculls at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Varese, Italy on Sunday.
A U.S. team has only placed once before in this category, receiving a sixth place in 2011, said Executive Director Susan Kenyon of Sarasota Crew.
The girls finished with a time of 7:09:86. They competed against 18 teams in their first heat, 12 in the semifinals and six in the finals during the competition, which was held from July 23 through July 27.
The pair was the top U.S. qualifying team for their category at the Princeton University trials, Kenyon said.
“Shawna and Devin approached this championship with the focus and maturity of more senior athletes, and I could not be prouder of them,” Coach Casey Galvanek said in a U.S. Rowing press release.
Sims began rowing for Sarasota Crew in 2008. In 2013, she won a silver medal as a part of the quadruple sculls team in the World Rowing Junior Championships. Sims attended Venice High School.
Norder began rowing in 2008 for the Sarasota Scullers. She won a gold medal ih the lightweight four with coxswain in the 2011 U.S. Rowing Youth Nationals Championship. Norder attends Pine View School in Osprey.
The U.S. received five medals at the Olympic-class event.