Alex Ramirez had something to prove this track season.

She was the only returning member of the Alice Lady Coyotes 2010 regional-qualifying 800 and 1,600-meter relay teams.

The four-sport star and Alice High School’s homecoming and prom queen wanted to prove that she could get back to the Region IV-4A track and field meet — on her own.

She did it. The Alice High School senior qualified by placing third in the 400-meter dash at the District 31-4A track and field meet. Ramirez turned in a time of 60.19, just a flash behind second-place finisher Dominique McGill of Corpus Christi Moody, who finished the race in a time of 60.03.

“I tried to work as hard as I could to prove to everyone that I can do it by myself… that I can get to regionals by myself,” Ramirez said.

Now facing a field of South Texas’ best runners, Ramirez wants to make the best of her opportunity at regionals.

Her best time of the season is a 60.3, which she ran at the Coyote Relays on April 7. It was good enough for a medal at the meet and for an Alice High School record in the event. Ramirez’s time eclipsed the old record of 60.4 set by Missy Ladesma in 1984.

Alice coach Liza Alamarez said Ramirez is capable to breaking her own record and even breaking the minute mark.

“She’s going to break 60,” Almaraz said. “She’s been just above it most of the season. If she breaks 60 at regionals, it’ll get her into the finals. Once she gets into the finals, who knows what’ll happen after that.”

Ramirez, whose regular workouts in the hot South Texas sun have mostly includes chasers, where she begins a lap around the track several seconds behind another runner and then had to race to catch her before the finish line, has already knocked off seconds from her time this season and her time in the 400 has dramatically improved from a year ago.

Almaraz said Ramirez, who was named Alice High School’s top female athlete and track and field MVP at this year’s Spring Sports Banquet, is a testament of what hard work can do.

“Alex worked very hard this season,” Almaraz said. “She got to regionals because she was dedicated this season and did all the workouts and always gave it her all.”

Ramirez and Alice’s other regional qualifiers are competing in the Region IV meet Monday and Tuesday in San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium. Preliminaries in the running events are Monday and finals are Tuesday.