Senior Maureen McAuliffe was recently invited to try out for the U23 National team this summer in West Windsor, N.J.

An anxiously awaited email slipped in to senior Maureen McAuliffe’s inbox last Sunday afternoon. It was one the Herndon native had been expecting for more than two days and one that could change her rowing career.

McAuliffe became one of 24 collegiate rowers around the country to earn an official invite from USRowing to attend the women’s Under-13 National Team Camp.

“I’m very proud that I can represent George Mason, but most of all, my teammates on both the women’s and men’s teams,” McAuliffe said to Mason Athletics on “Without them I know this next step would not be possible for me. I was nervous all week, ask anyone! I found out at the boathouse after our grand final race Sunday afternoon and having the people around that have helped me along the way was the perfect setting.”

She was one of just 16 sweep rowers to be selected with the unique honor.

The camp, held at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., in June, will evaluate selected rowers for the open’s eight and quadruple skulls crews to compete at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Amsterdam on July 21-24, 2012.

McAuliffe must first focus her attention to the program, which runs from the beginning of June until August. It will be held at either the United States Rowing Training Center in Oklahoma City or at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Initial cuts will be made within the first couple of weeks and the remaining rowers will pack their bags for Princeton, N.J. for the next phase of the selection process.

Cuts will be made until the final roster is set for the World Rowing Championships in July.

McAuliffe competed as a member of the National Pre-Elite Team and is extremely familiar with the national rowing stage. At the 2012 United States Rowing National Club Championships, McAuliffe led her team to a gold medal finish in the women’s eight boat race.

Prior to joining the rowing team at Mason, McAuliffe had no previous experience, making her selection that much more impressive.

“We are all very proud of Maureen to be invited to the U23 camp this summer,” coach Geoff Dillard commented on “She has worked very hard to get where she is, and I am happy to see her hard work pay off. Maureen has had a great impact on our team, and it sends a message to all our recruits that you can row at the highest level here at Mason.”

As a 2016 hopeful for the Olympic team, McAuliffe is determined to find a place on the senior national team. She knows a lot of work is still to be done, but her participation in the camp is one of the many steps it will take to accomplish her ultimate goal.

“There is so much hard work ahead of me,” McAuliffe said. “I can’t wait to throw myself into it.”