Bob Verbeeck was a key player in ISU’s meteoric rise in track & field and cross country in the early 1980s. The Tessenderlo, Belgium, native was a two-time All-American and a six-time Big Eight champion while competing for the Cyclones from 1980-84.
The distance runner claimed four Big Eight indoor titles, winning the mile-run twice (1980, 1982), claiming the 3-mile run in 1984 and was a member of the 1984 distance medley winning squad. He won a pair of outdoor 1,500 meter titles in 1981 and 1982.
At the NCAA Championship, Verbeeck earned All-America honors in the indoor mile run in 1982 with a time of 4:04.30. Verbeeck capped off his career by winning the 1984 NCAA title in the 1,500 meter with a time of 3:52.85. He also won two 1,500 meter Drake Relays titles (1981 and 1983). Verbeeck was the first Iowa collegian to ever run a sub-4:00 mile and currently holds ISU’s outdoor school record in the mile with a 3:57.98 clocking. Verbeeck finished third at the 1981 Big Eight Cross Country Championship and three times finished in the top-40 at the NCAA cross country meet.
Following graduation, Verbeeck won the 1984 Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year Award and was the only track & field competitor in the nation to earn the NCAA postgraduate scholarship in 1984. He represented Belgium in the 5000 meters at the 1984 U.S. Olympic Games in Los Angeles and was the European 3,000 meter indoor champion.