From 4-H to the Olympics: Ohio native part of USA Shooting National Junior Team

Johnathan Dorsten in his USA Junior Olympics jacket.

A passion that began during the third grade as a member of Ohio 4-H could lead Johnathan Dorsten to the Olympic Games to compete in shooting sports.

The 17-year-old Williams County 4-H member is already part of the USA Shooting National Junior Team and competed internationally for USA Shooting in the 2021 El Salvador Junior Grand Prix in March. His goal is to eventually make it to the USA Shooting National Team to compete in the Olympics as part of the U.S. pistol team.Johnathon Dorsten aiming an air pistol.

Dorsten, now in his 11th year as an Ohio 4-H member, first became interested in shooting sports through 4-H archery in 2011. He later transitioned into small bore pistol in 2013, added crossbow in 2018, and shotgun in 2019. He said his experience in 4-H played a large part in his success–both in sports and in life.

“4-H has played multiple roles in my life, with one of the biggest being the foundation and introduction to the sport of air pistols,” Dorsten said. “My mom was in 4-H as a kid and signed me up because she knew it was a great program.”

“The experiences I’ve had through 4-H with shooting sports, camp counselor training, and the friends I’ve made have helped me develop responsibility and leadership skills that’ve helped me develop as a person and helped me do better in sports, including serving as a 4-H club president for three years and as soccer captain on my junior varsity soccer team.”4 people shooting at targets.

Dorsten’s notable accomplishments include placing 10th overall and 2nd in slow fire competition at the 2018 4-H Nationals in air pistol; earning 2nd place in juniors at the 2020 Camp Perry Open, Civilian Marksmanship Program North; and earning 1st place in 2019 and 2020 in the Junior Olympic Ohio State Qualifiers. He’s also a member of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation All-Scholastic Team and the National Honor Society. Johnathan aiming an air pistol.

His father, Damian Dorsten, also credits 4-H with introducing his son to shooting sports and to a network of “great advisors” in the sport.

“To say that I am extremely proud of my son would be an understatement,” Damian Dorsten said. “The shooting process in air pistol is poetry in motion–it takes a steady eye, a great arm, a steady heart rate, and control of your emotions to become great. Without 4-H, we wouldn’t have made all the great connections in the sport that we’ve made.”

After graduating Bryan High School next year, Dorsten said he plans to attend Ohio State and major in agricultural mechanical engineering. He hopes to earn a spot on the Ohio State air pistol team, and eventually make it to the Olympic games.