As a coach of both cross country and track, I have to disagree with you, unitedstatesAFA2013. Cross country is a team sport, and the captain of the team has a large role in making sure that the team has the best finish possible. Our team captain has a part in deciding which runners will be considered varsity for each meet, and then has the responsibility to make sure that each runner on varsity is training as best as they can leading up to a meet. The captain will also make sure that everyone is doing well on the day of the meet, and will talk to anyone who seems to be tired, distracted, etc. It is up to the captain to let me know if we need to make any changes before a race.
A cross country meet is scored by taking the top 5 finishers from each team, and scoring their place, for a total point score for each team. If at least 5 varsity runners do not finish the race, the whole team forfiets the meet. Even though an individual places first in a meet, it can mean nothing if the rest of the team is not there.
I think cross country is just as important as any other team sport to the Academy. All sports have something to offer a candidate, and I am sure the Academy looks at all sports equally.
The biggest key to being involved in a sport is to ENJOY what you are doing. That will determine how well you do in it. Don't choose a sport because of how it looks on a resume, choose it because it is something that you like to do.