Gophers women’s basketball sophomore guard Mercedes Staples is adding her name to the transfer portal, Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen announced Friday.

Staples, whose name has been dropped from the Gophers’ roster on the team website, was one of Whalen’s first recruits upon taking the job in 2018 and was ranked No. 64 in the Class of 2018 by ESPN’s HoopGurlz out of Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah.

Staples played in 33 games in her Gophers career, averaging 3.2 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists. She has appeared in eight of the Gophers’ nine games this season, with one start.

Back at Canterbury

Canterbury Park racing officials announced that Robert Junk will return to the track as director of racing and racing secretary, a position he held from 2016 through 2018 before leaving for a similar job at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.

Because Turf Paradise races when Canterbury doesn’t, he will continue in his position at Turf Paradise and rejoin the Canterbury racing office in early May.

Canterbury’s 2020 season is expected to run 65 days from May 15 through Sept. 12, after which Junk will return to Phoenix.

“It was a difficult decision to leave Canterbury Park in 2018,” Junk said, “but the opportunity in Phoenix, which is home for me, required a year-round commitment at that time. I’m fortunate that Canterbury and Turf Paradise could make this happen so that I can work for both.”

Ex-U skaters on U.S.

Five Gophers alumnae Megan Bozek, Dani Cameranesi, Amanda Kessel, Kelly Pannek and Lee Stecklein were among the players selected for the U.S. women’s national hockey team that will play Canada in the 2019-20 Rivalry Series.

The first game of the series will be Saturday in Hartford, Conn., the second game Tuesday in Moncton, New Brunswick.