Donna Lopiano, Ph.D., former president of the Women's Sport Foundation, writes of Bucha, "Between 1973 and 1975, Sandra was the female winner in the nine professional marathon races she entered.
At that time, marathon swimming was a single gender sport. During her professional marathon swimming career, no female was able to challenge her title as the #1 marathon swimmer in the world. Only three males finished ahead of her in her in nine marathon races. As a principal in a successful lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association, this legal action resulted in the initiation of girls’ sports programs and state interscholastic championships for girls in the State of Illinois. Her actions as a social justice advocate affected the opportunities of thousands of girls to participate in swimming and other sports. The energy and enthusiasm she brought to her swimming career and initial social justice efforts continued as she graduated from Stanford University with honors as an undergraduate and earned her Doctor of Law degree at Indiana University. Her career as a champion athlete and record as a conscientious citizen have been exemplary."
Professional Legal Career
Bucha received her B.A.. in History, with distinction, from Stanford University in 1976 and her J.D. from Indiana University in 1979. A former prosecutor and public defender, Bucha focuses on personal injury and criminal and medical malpractice litigation. She is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida, is a member of the bar in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida.
She is a member of the Federal District Court trial bars for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois and the Eastern District of Wisconsin, as well as a member or The Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, and The American Bar Association.
Professional Marathon Swimming Career
From 1973 to 1975 as she was studying at Stanford University, Bucha embarked on an unprecedented professional marathon swimming career where she completed 9 swims and finished first in all 9 races with six second-place overall finishes.
- 1973 Chicago Lake Front 10-mile professional marathon swim: 1st woman, 2nd overall (to Johann Schans
- 1974 Chicago Lake Front 10-mile professional marathon swim: 1st woman, 2nd overall (to John Kinsella)
- 1974 24 Heures La Tuque 24-hour non-stop relay with John Kinsella: 1st place in new world record
- 1974 Traversee Internationale du Lac St-Jean: 1st woman, 3rd overall to John Kinsella and Rogosic Veljko
- 1974 Laval 10-mile professional marathon swim: 1st woman, 2nd overall to John Kinsella
- 1975 Chicago Lake Front 10-mile professional marathon swim: 1st woman, 2nd overall (to John Kinsella)
- 1975 24 Heures La Tuque 24-hour non-stop relay with John Kinsella: 1st place
- 1975 Traversee Internationale du Lac St-Jean: 1st woman, 2nd overall to John Kinsella
- 1975 Laval 10-mile professional marathon swim: 1st woman, 2nd overall to John Kinsella
Pool Swimming Career
- 1971 National Senior AAU Long Distance Swimming Championships, Huntington, Indiana: 1st place
- 1972 200m Freestyle American Record in 2:08.5
- 1972 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials: 7th place (100m freestyle), 8th place (200m freestyle)
- numerous national age-group records and finalist in a number of National Senior AAU Swimming Championships