A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Elam amassed a career high school record of 156-17 and was a two time Missouri State champion and four time qualifier. Elam won the cadet folkstyle nationals in 2017 and won the cadet freestyle nationals in 2018. In 2019, Elam won the USA wrestling preseason nationals, and junior freestyle nationals. Elam finished third at the Super 32 championships in 2018 and was third at the cadet UWW world team trials in 2019. Rated as the 11th ranked recruit in the nation, Elam committed to the Missouri Tigers in 2019.