The podium finish is the season’s highpoint achievement for Callister, who ends his World Cup commitments with a world ranking of four and results that support the promise he has shown since his World Cup debut at the age of 16.
Callister delivered an experienced performance, which almost contradicted the fact that today’s event was just his seventh World Cup in an accelerating career.
By finishing on the podium along with event winner Yiwei Zang from China and American Taylor Gold, Callister has added to the steady stream of medals won by Australians in World Cup and the World Championships this season.
Callister stamped his claim for a place on the podium in the qualification session last Thursday when he posted the second best score in his heat.
His qualification score of 87.50 earned him a berth in the 10-man final.
Callister, 19, said that he was “super happy” with the result and went in to the event with a degree of confidence that a medal was within reach.
“I thought the run in the final was great,” he said.
“I definitely thought there was potential for me to get on the podium but I suppose I wasn’t really expecting it.”
Being his first World Cup medal and having his dad, Brett Callister, who arrived at the venue just one hour before the start of the final, in the crowd made the result even more special for the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia/NSW Institute of Sport athlete.
“It was a super good contest and I was riding really well,” Callister said. “I had a lot of fun.
“It was probably the best run I’ve ever done.
“I put in a few tricks that I’ve been working on over the past couple of months.”
One of the additions to his repertoire is a front-side double cork 1080 and today was the first time he has landed one in competition.
Callister scored a 88.50 in the final with a double crippler, a back-side 900, a front-side 1080, a double cork 1080 and finished with a front-side double cork 1080.
Callister has ramped up the level of difficulty of his tricks this season in a quest to become more a threat at major events.
“I don’t think I would have been able to get on the podium today without that last trick,” Callister admitted.
Callister has experience significant improvement over the last two seasons but is certainly not resting on his laurels.
His improvement has drawn attention from many in the halfpipe fraternity, resulting in berths in two upcoming invitations only events, including the prestigious US Open in Vail next week.
Nate Johnstone and Holly Crawford finished in 11th and eighth respectively, narrowly missing the finals while Matthew Cox was 29th and Emily Arthur was 21st.
Slopestyle Ski & Snowboard: 13th place for Mullins in Park City
Also competing in Park City for Australia where a number of slopestyle ski and snowboard athletes.
OWIA/NSWIS and 2015 World Championship medallist Russ Henshaw had a difficult day in the men's skiing slopestyle qualifying, finishing in 26th place.
Competing in her second World Cup start, 16-year-old NSWIS athlete Mahalah Mullins recorded a 13th place performance in the women's snowboard slopestyle event.
IMAGE: Kent Callister (right) on the podium in Park City © Kent Callister