Mastro Second in Calgary; Two on Podium in Overall Halfpipe World Cup Standings
A chilly Saturday night set the scene for the final snowboard halfpipe competition of the 2023-24 season at the Snow Rodeo in Calgary, Canada. Maddie Mastro stepped on the podium in second place, her fourth podium out of the five comps in the season.
With overall World Cup titles on the line and heavy hitters like Australia's Scotty James missing from competition, athletes competed in a dramatic and exciting finish to the season. Sonora Alba was the first to drop for the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team, coming off a fourth place finish at the Youth Olympic Games. Alba put down a stylish first run, earning a 64.75 in what would be her best run of the night, earning her best career World Cup finish with fifth place.
Next up was rookie Bea Kim, who was sitting in an impressive second place in the overall halfpipe World Cup standings and looking to continue her breakout season. After a disappointing first two runs, it came down to Kim’s third and final run to hold her spot in the overall standings. Coming off a third place finish in Mammoth, and sitting in third behind teammate Kim in the halfpipe World Cup rankings, two-time Olympian Mastro came out strong with a clean first run, locking in an 83.50 to put her in a comfortable second place. Mastro was briefly knocked out of podium position by teammate Kim, who showed veteran-level composure to stomp her third and final run, but Mastro responded with the first and only double cork of the night on the women’s side and was rewarded by the judges with a massive score of 88.25 to secure second place.
"I’m super happy I was able to land my third run and do the double after getting bodied on it in Laax not too long ago," said Mastro. "I also got bodied in Calgary last year so it was nice to get a bit of redemption in that sense as well; I’m just really hppy and stoked with how I’m riding."
On the men’s side, rookie Alessandro Barbieri came out swinging in his first career World Cup finals appearance, landing a 1440 on the final hit of his second run and making a statement to the rowdy crowd at the bottom of the pipe to finish seventh. Barbieri was joined by teammate Joey Okesson, who finally punched his ticket to finals after landing consistently on the qualification bubble throughout the majority of the season. Okesson was determined to show off his stylish bag of tricks and did not disappoint, going huge in his first run with three consecutive double corks. After barely missing his final hit on both of his first two runs, Okesson finished the season out on a high note, landing one of the most stylish runs of the night to land in eighth overall.
The Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team women finished the halfpipe World Cup season with two on the podium in the overall halfpipe World Cup standings, with Mastro taking second and Kim taking third. Japan’s Mitsuki Oni won the overall halfpipe Crystal Globe for the second consecutive year.
Japan’s Ruka Hirano ended his dominant season as the halfpipe Crystal Globe winner for the men, with one point separating Aussie teammates Valentino Guseli in second and Scotty James in third. Chase Josey was the top overall finisher for the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team, taking seventh place overall for the 2023-24 season.
The Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Halfpipe Team will take a well-deserved break from competition to focus on recovery ahead of upcoming team training camps.